Dr. Stan Sibley

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Title The Effects of School Choice on Desegregation in the Omaha Public Schools
Author Sibley, DeWitt Stanley
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree PhD
Date 1995
Adviser Kilore, Al
Pages 206
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Abstract The purpose for conducting this study was to determine the effects of intradistrict and interdistrict choice on desegregation in the Omaha Public Schools and to examine the reasons why students chose to attend schools other than their neighborhood schools.

Three research paradigms were used to determine answers to the research questions.  An analysis of existing records in the Omaha Public Schools determined which high school students applied to transfer using (interdistrict) choice for the 1991-92 through 1994-95 school years and who transferred using intradistrict choice for the 1993-94 school year.  Two random samples of high school students were selected and surveyed to determine reasons for choices made to attend neighborhood schools or other schools using intradistrict transfers.  A stratified sample of students was selected and interviewed to gain more information regarding the reasons for choices made, to verify the findings, and to provide more in-depth responses.

Findings from the study included:

  1. Approximately one-third of the high school students in the Omaha Public Schools participated in intra-district choice by transferring to high schools within the district.
  2. Black students within the Omaha Public School District were more likely than their non-black counterparts to participate in intradistrict choice and were less likely to participate in interdistrict choice.
  3. Black students were under-represented among residents of the Omaha Public Schools who applied to leave the district, and were over-represented among students who applied to enter the district.
  4. Black students were less likely than non-black students to have wanted to attend school in a different district.
  5. Black students indicated a major reason for not wanting to transfer to a school outside the district was the concern they wound not be accepted.
  6. Academic achievement was not as important as race in determining who would apply to transfer into or out of the Omaha Public Schools.
  7. Students who lived close to district boundaries were more likely to apply to transfer to a school outside the district.
 
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