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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 Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action
In the courts and in referenda campaigns, affirmative action in college admissions is under full-scale attack. Though it was designed to help resolve a variety of serious racial problems, affirmative action's survival may turn on just one question--whether or not the educational value of diversity is sufficiently compelling to justify consideration of race as a factor in deciding whom to admit to colleges and universities.
Research Item The Hopwood Decision in Texas as an Attack on Latino Access to Selective Higher Education Programs
This paper looks at the effects of the Hopwood decision on Latino students and examines factors impacting Latino students' access to higher education.
Research Item Opportunities Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Policies
Opportunities Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline, is the culmination of the shared efforts of The Civil Rights Project (CRP) at Harvard University and the Advancement Project (AP). By consulting with attorneys, psychiatrists, academians, educators, and children’s advocates, CRP and AP embarked upon a multi-disciplined approach to review this subject matter. This is the first comprehensive national report to scrutinize the impact that the brutally strict Zero Tolerance approach to discipline, currently being used in public schools, is having on American children. The report illustrates that Zero Tolerance is unfair, is contrary to the developmental needs of children, denies children educational opportunities, and often results in the criminalization of children.
Research Item Religion, Race, and Justice in a Changing America
The authors look back at the civil rights tradition, offer new insights from diverse religious communities including Protestant denominations, Jewish groups, evangelical organizations, and Islamic and Buddhist groups, among others, and examine the role of religion in a new movement.
Research Item Diversity and Legal Education: Student Experiences in Leading Law Schools
This study reports on the experiences of students captured in a high response-rate survey administered by the Gallup Poll at two of the nation's most competitive law schools, Harvard Law School and the University of Michigan Law School, as well as through data collected through an email/internet survey at five other law schools. The data indicate that the Supreme Court was correct in its conclusions about the impact of diversity in Bakke and earlier higher education decisions.
Research Item Reconfiguring Admissions to Serve the Mission of Selective Public Higher Education
This paper first spells out several of these consequences of basing admissions solely on igh-stakes standardized, norm-referenced tests . It then considers whether HSSNRTs are technically adequate to justify such consequences. Next, it offers a principled resolution to the debate between advocates of score-ranked admissions and proponents of diversity.
Research Item Resegregation in American Schools
This report focuses primarily upon four important trends. First, the American South is resegregating, after two and a half decades in which civil rights law broke the tradition of apartheid in the region's schools and made it the section of the country with the highest levels of integration in its schools. Second, the data shows continuously increasing segregation for Latino students, who are rapidly becoming our largest minority group and have been more segregated than African Americans for several years. Third, the report shows large and increasing numbers of African American and Latino students enrolled in suburban schools, but serious segregation within these communities, particularly in the nation's large metropolitan areas. Since trends suggest that we will face a vast increase in suburban diversity, this raises challenges for thousands of communities. Fourth, we report a rapid ongoing change in the racial composition of American schools and the emergence of many schools with three or more racial groups. The report shows that all racial groups except whites experience considerable diversity in their schools but whites are remaining in overwhelmingly white schools even in regions with very large non-white enrollments.
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