The Story: Effects of Integration

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- John W. Love, Jr.

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The desegregation transition was not an easy one for Charlotte, but its residents were proud of their success at creating an integrated, organized, well-functioning school system by the mid-1970s. Another point of pride for the city was that school achievement also rose after the desegregation plan of 1974. Before and during the desegregation controversy, test scores in the district were below the national average. After an initial post-integration dip, they began increasing and by 1981 test scores were higher than they’d ever been in the district’s history. The gap remained between the test scores of white and black students, although black students continued making increases throughout the 1980s.

"Knowledge & Opportunity"
- Arthur Griffin

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Charlotte gained a reputation as a moderate Southern city, able to peacefully work through racial issues. Its city leaders promoted the slogan "The City That Made It Work", referring to the success of desegregation. This reputation drew businesses to the city, causing Charlotte’s economy to rapidly expand, especially in the field of finance and banking. Royal Insurance Company relocated to Charlotte from New York City in 1985, citing its integrated school system as a large factor in the decision.