Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Genevieve Siegel-Hawley


Nearly 60 years after the Supreme Court Decision in Brown, segregation is still an ingrained facet of American public education. This study investigated the extent to which these continued patterns of segregation influenced graduation rates from high school. The study used data provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on the 2011 graduating cohorts in 302 public high schools across the state. The results indicate that graduation rates for all students vary significantly as a function of the overall socioeconomic and racial composition of high schools. In addition, low-income students are significantly more likely to graduate in low-poverty high schools and minorities are significantly more likely to graduate in high schools that are not highly segregated by race. Finally, school level demographic variables explain a significant, independent share of the variance in graduation rates among high schools. These results lend weight to policies designed to integrate high schools as a way to equalize educational opportunity.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013