Black/brown cooperation and conflict in the education policymaking process
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The way race works to shape politics is changing as demographic patterns alter the traditional dynamic of race relations throughout the United States. One pattern is the increased tendency of African-Americans and Latinos to reside in the same locality. While popular opinion suggests that such contexts should result in the formation of Ã¢ÂÂrainbow coalitions,Ã¢ÂÂ several scholars have found evidence that inter-minority relations are characterized by high levels of political competition. One of the policy areas in which competition has been observed most often is education. This dissertation examines the conditions under which African-American/Latino relations are likely to be characterized by cooperation or conflict within the education policymaking process. It utilizes a survey of 1800 school districts, containing 96% of all urban districts in the United States. The results produced by this study, therefore, are applicable to nearly the entire universe of urban educational systems. Another unique aspect of this project is that, rather than focusing on relations at one stage of the policy process, it attempts to trace this dynamic through each stage. Thus, the dissertation begins with a look at the circumstances under which Black/Brown electoral coalitions will form in school board elections. The findings suggest that coalition formation is contingent upon structural contexts, specifically the presence of partisan elections, and upon the citizenship status of the Latino population within a district. The dissertation goes on to trace the cooperative and competitive forces that affect the hiring of African- American and Latino administrators and teachers. Lastly, I use theories of bureaucratic politics and racial context to study the quality of education received by minority students. I find that, controlling for other factors, more diverse school districts have more equitable educational policies. I also find evidence to support the contention that more diverse teaching faculties tend to result in beneficial outcomes for both African- American and Latino students.
Rocha, Rene Rolando (2006). Black/brown cooperation and conflict in the education policymaking process. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from