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The rise and fall of school integration in Israel: Research and policy analysis


Hebrew University, School of Education, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, 90915, Israel


School integration (desegregation) was introduced in Israeli junior high schools in 1968 with the aim of increasing educational equality and decreasing (Jewish) ethnic divides. While never officially abandoned, a de facto retreat from this policy has been observed since the early 1990s, despite the voluminous research that revealed its positive, though moderate, educational outcomes. This shift in educational emphases reflected profound societal changes, fed by global neo-liberal trends and educational consumerism, which research-based arguments supporting integration were too weak to resist. The ascent and waning of school integration in Israel provide an instructive case for analysing the interconnection of educational policy, educational research, and societal changes, demonstrating the weakness of research in sustaining educational policy in the face of counteracting social and political developments.

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