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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 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.
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.
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