The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

142 The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 composition of schools shape the perception of those schools (271). They maintain that despite the actual quality of the school, heavily populated African-American schools receive a poor reputation because whites assume violence, drugs, and poor discipline prevail (Sikkink and Emerson 271). Sikkink and Emerson hold that these assumptions are especially prevalent among highly educated whites (277). Sikkink and Emerson claim that because highly educated whites want their children to have the best circumstances, they choose the schools that, in their view, provide the best education (270). Because of the false perception that heavily black schools inherently face discipline and drug problems, parents choose alternative schooling. Arguing for a slightly different motive, Roda and Wells affirm that although parents aspire for racially integrated schools, they naturally gravitate towards highly white and socioeconomically advantaged schools (266). Thus, while both sources claim race shapes individual’s perceptions of schools, Sikkink and Emerson believe that people gravitate away from disproportionately African-American schools because of negative perceptions, and Roda and Wells maintain that individuals gravitate towards white, wealthy schools because of positive associations. Though Sikkink and Emerson and Roda and Wells support their view in slightly different ways, they both hold the foundational view that racial stereotypes shape perceptions of educational institutions. Rapp and Eckes believe that academic quality is the driving motive behind racial segregation in education (620). However, they found that “socioeconomic status, race, and distance from home had powerful effects on parents’ choices” (Rapp and Eckes 260). Unique to their article, Rapp and Eckes also take into account the geographic location of schools. Thus, Rapp and Eckes claim that the discrepancy of minority enrollment in different schools may be because of a geographical divide (620). Consequently, the driving force behind educational segregation is racially motivated housing choices, not school enrollment. Though Sikkink and Emerson and Roda and Wells have largely been in agreement up to this point, they diverge on the solution of de facto segregation. First, Sikkink and Emerson and Rapp and Eckes share a passive view in dealing with racial segregation. Sikkink and Emerson do not doubt that school