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Desegregating Teachers

53 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008 Last revised: 30 Apr 2009

Wendy Parker

Wake Forest University - School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2008


Our public schools are more segregated than is commonly recognized. Through an original empirical study of 157 school districts, this Article uncovers that teachers are re-segregating, just as students are. Many educators, policy makers, and legal scholars would find no fault with this resegregation because they disconnect integration from quality of education. The consequences of teacher segregation, however, remain uncharted territory in this debate over the value of integration. The resegregation of teachers exposes the truth of segregation - it continues to impede structural equality and helps to perpetuate white supremacy. Segregated teaching staffs, which put inexperienced white teachers in minority schools, are but one aspect of the inequality of segregation. Yet, this past term the Supreme Court legitimated the current segregation in our public schools in its landmark opinion, Parents Involved. Our society's refusal to recognize the transformative potential of integration is, however, more of an obstacle to equality than the Supreme Court. That is, until we identify integration with quality of education, the Supreme Court's refusal to do so is unimportant.

Keywords: integration, segregation, teachers

JEL Classification: J71

Suggested Citation

Parker, Wendy, Desegregating Teachers (March 1, 2008). Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 1101580. Available at SSRN: or

Wendy Parker (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

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