To what extent is the geographic location in which a court enters an order a factor in predicting compliance? When the court order concerns desegregation, location would seem highly relevant. Now, Brown University has brought the social-science discipline of spatial analysis to bear on this question, and has put the resulting data on the Web at the fascinating site The State of Public School Integration.

Starting with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the site tracks court-ordered desegregation throughout the United States and links it to trends in racial composition and segregation among public elementary schools from 1968 to 2000. For every U.S. public school district, the site provides information on any desegregation cases, along with information on the racial and ethnic composition of each district’s students.

Start by selecting a state and then a school district, and the resulting page shows all segregation-related cases from that district, with a description of the case and its status and a link to the full-text opinion on Westlaw, when available. Farther down, the page displays a variety of charts and graphs depicting ethnic and racial composition, economic and class size disparities, and other data. Searches can also span data for an entire metropolitan area.

Based on research initially conducted by Dr. John R. Logan at the University of Albany, the site is hosted by Brown’s American Communities Project .

Thanks to Scout Report for bringing this site to my attention.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.