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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 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.
Research Item Easing the Transition to High School: An Investigation of Reform Practices to Promote Ninth Grade Success
This study contributes to the literature on school reform and restructuring by providing much needed information about effective school organizational practices to ease the transition to high school. As educational researchers and practitioners work to find the best ways to organize high schools for the benefit of teachers and students alike, more attention must be given to the unique needs of ninth graders as they transition to a new school environment while also facing the challenges of adolescence.
Research Item How Many Central City High Schools Have A Severe Dropout Problem, Where Are They Located, and Who Attends Them? Initial Estimates Using the Common Core of Data
The analysis presented in this paper strongly suggests that about half of the high schools in the nation’s 35 largest cities have severe dropout rates. It further shows that high schools with weak promoting power and by implication high dropout rates are found in almost all of the largest cities but they are particularly concentrated in Midwestern and Northern industrial cities and Texas.
Research Item Making School Completion Integral to School Purpose & Design
By correlating their values, their instructional, curricular, relational, and professional practices, and their organizational behavior to the assessment process by which students graduate, the Coalition Campus schools make completion integral to their purpose and design.
Research Item Do Higher State Test Scores in Texas Make for Better High School Outcomes?
It appears that rising TAAS scores on the tenth-grade high-stakes test have had at best a small impact on educational outcomes that count, namely high school completion and the likelihood of attending college. This is particularly troubling because high school graduation rates are relatively low in Texas.
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