Statistical Portrait of Yonkers, NY Public Schools in a Desegregation Suit

Problem

The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York asked Analysis & Inference to take a lead consulting role in its negotiations with the Yonkers School Board. The issue: returning control of the Yonkers Public Schools from Federal Court to the Board.

During the early busing controversies, Yonkers schools were determined to be racially segregated following a suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, and Federal control had been imposed. Returning control to the Yonkers Board meant the school district would lose millions in supplementary state aid mandated by the original decision.

The State was required to determine if indicators of segregation in the Yonkers schools were absent or declining.

Procedure

Analysis & Inference did an exhaustive study of the data on criteria for successful schools and student outcomes, including standardized test scores, graduation rates, disciplinary rates, and participation in honors classes. Some of the work was analytical, involving regression methods to describe relationships between school expenditures and student outcomes. A great deal of attention was given to providing clear graphic descriptions of the numerous statistical measures of success over the years.

Result

The Assistant Attorney General in charge credited A+I’s comprehensive Report as one of the principal bases for the negotiated settlement reached between the State and the Board.