K-12 School Diversity and Social Cohesion: Evidence in Support of a Compelling State Interest

Ashley B. Mikulyuk, Jomills H Braddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite existing research that demonstrates the benefits of racial diversity in education, the Court has become increasingly disinclined to allow the use of race or ethnicity in education policy targeted to increase race/ethnic diversity, absent a compelling state interest. The debate over the merits of educational diversity has almost exclusively focused on individual-level outcomes, ignoring consequences for society at large. We argue that this restricted conception of the goals of diversity may limit our understanding of how diverse learning opportunities represent compelling societal interests. Using macro-level data of 29 U.S. metropolitan areas, we examine the societal impact of K-12 diversity on an important societal attribute, intergroup social cohesion. This research has the potential to inform education policy and judicial sentiment about diversity as a compelling state interest in an increasingly diverse society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-37
Number of pages33
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • desegregation
  • K-12 diversity
  • race/ethnicity
  • social cohesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


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