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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 Who Should We Help? The Negative Social Consequences of Merit Scholarships
From a civil rights standpoint, shifting from need-based to "merit" aid means shifting funds from blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans to whites and Asians, from city and rural residents to suburban residents, from children from one-parent families to those who have two parents.
Research Item Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly Resegregating School Districts
Patterns of segregation by race are strongly linked to segregation by poverty, and poverty concentrations are strongly linked to unequal opportunities and outcomes. Since public schools are the institution intended to create a common preparation for citizens in an increasingly multiracial society, this inequality can have serious consequences. Given that the largest school districts in this country (enrollment greater than 25,000) service one-third of all school-aged children, it is important to understand at a district level the ways in which school segregation, race, and poverty are intersecting and how they impact these students’ lives. In our analysis we focus on two important components, race and segregation.
Research Item A Public Laboratory Dewey Barely Imagined: The Emerging Model of School Governance and Legal Reform
Public school reform raises the prospect of a broader redefinition of our very democracy.
Research Item Race, Place, and Opportunity: Racial Change and Segregation in the San Diego Metropolitan Area: 1990 - 2000
The future of the San Diego area is inexorably linked to the well-being of its minority populations, most strongly in the cities and inner-suburbs, but increasingly throughout the region. While moderately-high levels of racial segregation characterize the City, recent trends raise the specter that this pattern may be duplicated in growing suburbs, especially for Latinos.
Research Item Race, Place and Opportunity: Racial Change and Segregation in the Chicago Metropolitan Area: 1990-2000
Will metro Chicago, currently in its last decade with a white majority, move forcefully towards establishing equal opportunity or will the emerging majority continue to be isolated from housing and educational opportunity?
Research Item Schools More Separate: Consequences of a Decade of Resegregation
Almost a half century after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that Southern school segregation was unconstitutional and "inherently unequal," new statistics from the 1998-99 school year show that segregation continued to intensify throughout the 1990s, a period in which there were three major Supreme Court decisions authorizing a return to segregated neighborhood schools and limiting the reach and duration of desegregation orders. The data from the 2000 Census and from national school statistics show that the U.S. is an overwhelmingly metropolitan society, dominated by its suburbs. The high level of suburban segregation reported for African American and Latino students in this report suggests that a major set of challenges to the future of the minority middle class and to the integration of suburbia need to be addressed.
Research Item Raising Standards or Raising Barriers
The book makes clear the importance of high standards and accountability systems. But support for standards and accountability systems should not be equated with support for high-stakes tests. Most of the contributors to the volume have found evidence that policies that focus on high-stakes testing corrupt educational reform and undermine achievement, especially for at-risk students.
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