Date of Completion
school desegregation and social workers role
Dr. Kay Davidson
Dr. Brenda Kurz
Dr. Xae A. Reyes
Dr. Joan Letendre
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Hartford Open Choice Students’ School Engagement: The Role of Individual Characteristics and School Attributes
Loida Reyes, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut, 2015
The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Despite this major achievement, more than 60 years ago, residents in Hartford, Connecticut continue their fight to eliminate educational inequalities. In Sheff vs. O’Neill (1989) plaintiffs challenged the economic and racial segregation of public schools in Hartford and the lack of adequate resources in the city schools, which denied its students an equal education. Hartford public schools, where currently more than 90 percent of students are black or Latino, remain as segregated today, as they were when the Sheff lawsuit was filed in 1989. The central purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of Open Choice high school students’ level of school engagement as an important component of their educational experience and to address whether this indicator differed by race and ethnicity and school attributes. The subjects of this study were high school students participating in the Open Choice Program conducted through the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) who are bused from Hartford to surrounding suburban towns for an equitable and less segregated educational experience. To explore the integration experience of Open Choice Program participants from both perspectives, a mixed-methods approach was used: a survey questionnaire and focus groups of current participants attending suburban high schools, and in-depth interviews with school administrators from a subset of the high schools were completed.
Reyes, Loida, "Hartford Open Choice Students' School Engagement: The Role of Individual Characteristics and School Attributes" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 784.