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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 Racial Segregation and Educational Outcomes in Metropolitan Boston
Boston’s disastrous failure to achieve peaceful desegregation of its schools three decades ago, particularly the mob violence at South Boston High School, and the transition of the Boston schools to overwhelmingly white enrollment, are commonly seen as areas why the region need not think about patterns of school segregation--nothing can be done about it. This thinking ignores the better experiences of many other cities and also the METCO program that is intact and still in high demand.
Research Item Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis
The report combines findings of a comprehensive review of graduation rate accountability derived from each state’s website, along with interviews of state education officials. Finally, the report provides recommendations on how both the federal government and individual states can act to address this crisis.
Research Item Does NCLB Provide Good Choices for Students in Low-Performing Schools?
We examine the number of students who requested transfers and were offered the opportunity to move to a different school; explore the actual schooling options available to students attending schools that were required to offer choice; and analyze the constraints districts faced in complying with the regulations governing the NCLB transfer option
Research Item Expansion of Federal Power in American Education: Federal-State Relationships Under the No Child Left Behind Act, Year One
The No Child Left Behind Act is a startling departure from this history, both in terms of its requirements and in terms of its sponsors. It requires specific large changes in the basic assessment systems of states, sets requirements for education progress in two specific subjects only, contains unusual and large sanctions, and commands many forms of specific state action. It clearly moves to the very heart of the educational process. When the fate of schools and faculties rests solely on achieving a nationally specified rate of progress on two tests, those tests will drive curriculum and instruction in the schools that are clearly at risk, and, in this way, the federal mandates will control the center of the educational process.
Research Item Large Mandates and Limited Resources: State Response to the No Child Left Behind Act and Implications for Accountability
We pay particular attention to the knowledge base and existence of suitable interventions for improving performance in low-performing schools that would allow state administrators to do what the law requires since the history of state failures on a much smaller scale make it difficult to understand how the states could meet these challenges and raise concern about the resulting policies and practices for minority schools and districts.
Research Item State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequality
Unmet financial need – the gap between the costs of attending college and the resources available to students from their families and from all sources of financial aid – presents a major barrier to college for students from lower-income families. The federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance found that unmet need is a barrier both to students’ initial enrollment in college and to their ability to persist through and earn a degree.
Research Item Appearance and Reality in the Sunshine State: The Talented 20 Program in Florida
After a review of Florida state and institutional data and interviews with staff at five campuses of the Florida State University System and several Florida state agencies, this report describes the history, implementation, and effects of the Talented 20 Program. The report concludes that Talented 20 Plan is, in fact, not race-neutral and is not an effective alternative to race-conscious affirmative action.
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