It’s been roughly six years since a GOP takeover on the Wake County Board of Education prompted a massive overhaul of the district’s diversity assignment policy. And, as Policy Watch reported in March, the district has become racially segmented in the years since.
Now, a new N.C. State University study probes the public’s perception of diversity and neighborhood school assignments, finding mostly that, apparently, mothers put more thought into their children’s schooling than fathers, according to a News & Observer report Friday.
From the N&O:
Mothers are more likely than fathers to favor both school diversity and neighborhood schools, according to a new study on gender and school assignment conducted by N.C. State University.
The study also found that mothers are more likely to be concerned about challenges, danger and uncertainties of school assignments. And they were more fearful that a school reassignment would negatively affect their child’s learning or friendships.
“Mothers invest more emotional energy in children’s public school assignments and reassignments than fathers,” said Toby Parcel, professor of sociology at NCSU and lead researcher of the study. “We think that’s because they conceptualize this as part of their total responsibility of being good mothers and promoting their children’s well-being.”
For the study, researchers interviewed opinion leaders in Wake County, including current and former school board members and school activists, from 2010 to 2012. This group included individuals who favored diversity and those who favored neighborhood schools. The researchers also conducted two focus groups.
Survey participants were split nearly evenly between men and women. The researchers found that mothers favored diversity and neighborhood schools more than fathers, regardless of race, education, income or political affiliation.