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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 Percent Plans in College Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Three States’ Experiences
Our public schools are becoming increasingly segregated by race and income and the segregated schools are, on average, strikingly inferior in many important ways, including the quality and experience of teachers and the level of competition from other students. Given these facts, it is clear that students of different races do not receive an equal chance for college.
Research Item A Multiracial Society With Segregated Schools: Are We Losing the Dream?
Today, our nation’s public schools are becoming steadily more nonwhite, as the minority student enrollment approaches 40% of all U.S. public school students, almost twice the share of minority school students during the 1960s. Almost half of all public school students in the West and the South are minority students. The desegregation of black students, which increased continuously from the l950s to the late l980s, has now receded to levels not seen in three decades. Black students are experiencing the most rapid resegregation in the south, triggered by Supreme Court decisions in the 1990’s, and have now lost all progress recorded since the 1960’s.
Research Item The Grade Retention Fallacy
Research tells us that fear and humiliation are not the strongest motivators for struggling students. Too many will simply give up on school, largely because they feel like the school system has already given up on them. If Massachusetts is to avoid creating an ever-growing underclass of high school dropouts and intensifying existing racial inequalities, its leaders need to champion strategies that will produce genuine academic gains, not simply artificially boost test scores.
Research Item Racial Inequity in Special Education
An illuminating account of a widespread problem that has received little attention until now, Racial Inequity in Special Education sets the stage for a more fruitful discussion about special education and racial justice-a discussion that aims to advance racial equity in both special and general education.
Research Item What Works for the Children? What We Know and Don't Know About Bilingual Education
English Language Learners (ELLs), also known as limited English proficient (LEP) students face significant barriers to obtaining quality education. While research findings have not yet indicated how best to address the issues ELLs face, schools must provide some type of support to help them overcome these barriers. Current policy debates about how to improve education for ELLs have turned into battles over whether to implement one-year English immersion programs or bilingual education programs.
Research Item Education's 'Perfect Storm?' Racial Resegregation, "High Stakes" Testing, & School Inequities: The Case of North Carolina
Research commissioned for the conference The Resegregation of Southern Schools. Among its lessons, The Perfect Storm illustrates that converging forces can sometimes overwhelm even seasoned professionals who focus on discrete threats rather than their combined power.
Research Item The Impact of Student Composition on Academic Achievement in Southern High Schools
Research commissioned for the conference The Resegregation of Southern Schools. The issue of school segregation came to the forefront of education policy when, in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the de jure segregation of schools was unconstitutional because it was "inherently unequal" (Orfield, 2001, p. 10). Subsequent litigation and federal legislation, primarily during the 1960s and 1970s, lead to increased racial integration, especially in the South.
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