There are a lot of anecdotal claims about school uniforms helping to level economic status, increase attendance rates, create a healthier school environment, curb school violence, increase academic achievement, and so forth. Unfortunately, none of them have been substantiated. And yet, according to recent estimates, today “roughly 25% of our elementary public schools have mandatory school uniform policies,” observes David Brunsma, whereas in the mid-1990s only 5% had such policies.
Brunsma describes the research that led to The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade (2004).
Brunsma’s follow-up book, Evaluating Public School Uniforms: A Decade of Research (2006), consists of a collection of empirical studies by scholars on the subject.