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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 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.
Research Item Trends in Public School Segregation in the South, 1987-2000
Our analyses show that segregation has remained at very high levels in most Southern states and districts, and has even increased by large amounts in many others. There does appear to be an important trend toward resegregation, but that trend is not uniform across the South. We also find that some trends are masked from one measure of segregation, but revealed by others, stressing the importance of the use of multiple measures and the examination of local situations.
Research Item Integrating Neighborhoods, Segregating Schools: The Retreat from School Desegregation, 1990 - 2000
Paper prepared for the conference on the Resegregation of Southern Schools.
Research Item The Academic Consequences of Desegregation and Segregation: Evidence from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
This paper brings new evidence to bear on the question of whether desegregated schooling, in fact, improves the academic outcomes of those who experience it. Using survey data from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) collected in 1997, it examines the academic consequences of attending segregated and desegregated schools; how second generation segregation, in the form of tracking, diminished the potential benefits of school-level desegregation; why desegregated learning environments are superior to segregated ones; and, given the district’s new neighborhood schools pupil assignment plan, what do preliminary data suggest about racial and social class isolation and concentration in CMS’s 140 schools.
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