Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title Mandatory School Desegregation and Its Impact on Urban Demographics: A Case Study of Denver, Colorado
Author(s) Dwyer, Catherine F.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1993 March
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract The purpose of this study is to determine what impact, if any, a 16-year-old school desegregation program has had on reshaping the demographic character of the City and County of Denver, Colorado. This study examines changes in Denver, since 1970, in such population characteristics as total number of residents, number of residents under 18 years of age, percent minority residents, and public school enrollment. To analyze these data, a variety of methods are employed, including tabulations of CMSA population trends, choropleth maps to identify population dynamics within the central city, cohort analysis of DPS grade enrollment, regression analysis, and matched pair t tests of popUlation data from a sample of similar city and suburban census tracts. The cohort analysis indicates that retention rates (births/enrollment) in the city's public schools declined more than 15% in the first years after busing was implemented in the city; and that, throughout the 1980s, these rates remained substantially lower than in pre-busing years. This analysis also suggests: 1. that DPS enrollment decline is solely a function of decline in the number of anglo students; and, 2. that 70% of the anglo children born in the city since 1972 left the school system, and presumably the city, before or during their school age years. Regression analysis of declining anglo enrollment estimates that, during the 1970s, more than 30,000 anglo residents migrated from the city to its suburbs in direct response to the implementation of court-ordered busing. In addition, tabled and mapped population data demonstrate that since 1970, and during an era when population in the rest of the CMSA nearly doubled, the central city has been unable to attract, or even retain, anglo residents. T tests conducted on a sample of similar city and suburban census tracts also indicate that statistically significant differences in anglo population patterns now exist in those city tracts where busing was the differentiating variable. In short, this study indicates that school desegregation accelerated white flight from the city during the 1970s and early 1980s. In the long term, a lack of school desegregation in the suburbs appears to have acted as a "pull factor" in attracting the great bulk of anglo families with children who have settled in the Denver metropolitan region since 1980. These trends, in turn, have produced ever increasing proportions of minority residents in the central city.
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Created: Tue, 17 May 2011, 13:32:08 UTC by John Adams . Detailed History