The Polls-trends trends: School integration polls

Erica Frankenberg, Rebecca Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dating back to the mid-1950s, questions regarding school integration have become a staple of public opinion polls. As the United States transitions to an era where virtually all integration efforts must be voluntarily adopted by school boards, public support for integration is more important than ever. To understand the public's shifting view on this topic, we review poll questions in three broad areas: public support for school racial integration, public preferences for an ideal school composition, and beliefs about the outcomes of school integration. Additionally, we consider the public's opinion relative to Supreme Court cases. The variety of question types, formats, and nature of the topic make interpreting the public's views challenging, but some generalizations are possible: widespread support for the ideal of integration is consistent, but more ambiguity emerges about the specifics of accomplishing desegregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-811
Number of pages24
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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