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K-12 Education

We are committed to generating and synthesizing research on key civil rights and equal opportunity policies that have been neglected or overlooked.

Well before the passing of the "Leave No Child Behind" Act of 2002, which renewed the nation's interest in K-12 education, The Civil Rights Project had been focused on critical issues affecting this country's elementary and secondary students. CRP believes that equal educational opportunity is a necessary prerequisite to equal educational outcomes. Further, CRP believes that all students benefit from ethnically diverse educational experiences. For the past several years, a main focus of our research has been to demonstrate concrete educational benefits derived from attending diverse elementary and secondary schools. Research in the area of K-12 Education has been extensive with the hopes of having a broad impact nation-wide.

Our current research interests related to K-12 education include:

 

Recent K-12 Research

 

Research Item The Students We Share: A Binational Conference
Conference agenda for the 2010 The Students We Share - A Binational conference.
Research Item The Dropout/Graduation Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students
This paper examines the graduation/dropout crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native students using data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Data from 2005 is drawn from the seven states with the highest percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native students as well as five states in the Pacific and Northwestern regions of the United States. Findings indicate that the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives who graduate continues to be a matter of urgent concern. On average, less than 50% of Native students in these twelve states graduate each year.
Research Item Choice Without Equity:
 Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards
The charter school movement has been a major political success, but it has been a civil rights failure. As the country continues moving steadily toward greater segregation and inequality of education for students of color in schools with lower achievement and graduation rates, the rapid growth of charter schools has been expanding a sector that is even more segregated than the public schools. The Civil Rights Project has been issuing annual reports on the spread of segregation in public schools and its impact on educational opportunity for 14 years. We know that choice programs can either offer quality educational options with racially and economically diverse schooling to children who otherwise have few opportunities, or choice programs can actually increase stratification and inequality depending on how they are designed. The charter effort, which has largely ignored the segregation issue, has been justified by claims about superior educational performance, which simply are not sustained by the research. Though there are some remarkable and diverse charter schools, most are neither. The lessons of what is needed to make choice work have usually been ignored in charter school policy. Magnet schools are the striking example of and offer a great deal of experience in how to create educationally successful and integrated choice options.
Research Item Forbidden Language: English Learners and Restrictive Language Policies
Increasingly, the academic achievement of English language Learners (ELLs) is affecting the academic achievement of American students as a whole Book: Forbidden Languages
Research Item Equity Overlooked: Charter Schools and Civil Rights Policy
This report provides a much-needed overview of the origins of charter school policy; examines the failure of the Bush Administration to provide civil rights policies for charters; outlines state civil rights provisions; and highlights the lack of basic data in federal charter school statistics.
Research Item Integration Defended: Berkeley Unified’s Strategy to Maintain School Diversity
This report by researchers at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles and the University of California Berkeley's Warren Institute argues that the Berkeley Unified School District's plan to maintain diversity could serve as a model for other public schools nationwide that are seeking constitutionally sound desegregation programs.
Research Item Districts' Integration Efforts in a Changing Climate Two Years After the PICS Decision
Two years after the Supreme Court's voluntary integration decision and in the midst of tightening budgets, school districts around the country are balancing a number of goals including pursuing diverse schools. This memo includes examples of major trends identified in districts' actions regarding diversity.
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