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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 Squeezed from All Sides: The CSU Crisis and California's Future
This report is the first in a series called "The CSU Crisis and California’s Future." These reports are designed to analyze the impact of the fiscal cutbacks on opportunity for higher education in the California State University system, the huge network of 23 universities that provide the greatest amount of BA level of education in the state. The CSU has a much larger undergraduate student body than the University of California system and educates a much larger group of Latino and African American students. Many CSU students are first generation college students struggling to get an education in difficult times. This first report looks at how students are impacted by the fiscal crisis and budget cuts to CSUs. When the state of California adopted the Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960 it made a social contract with the young people of the state to provide them with a higher education. But the state has broken that social contract for many of its students. California has great wealth, but it also has many millions living in poverty with very low levels of education.
Research Item Experiencing Integration in Louisville: How Parents and Students See the Gains and Challenges
In this first part of research assessing the new Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) student assignment plan, researchers surveyed samples of both parents and students across the county. Three years after the Supreme Court’s 2007 PICS decision ended Louisville's former plan, these surveys tried to get a sense of the community's experiences with school integration efforts after JCPS’s new student assignment plan was implemented in 2009.
Research Item Beyond the Master Plan: The Case for Restructuring Baccalaureate Education in California
This study documents how the structure of California’s higher education system restricts B.A. attainment among all students and especially among students of color.
Research Item The School-to-Prison Pipeline
In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: to provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation’s children.
Research Item Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis
In order to better understand the issues of efficacy and fairness in the use of out-of-school suspension, we first must answer two questions: How frequently is suspension being used in our schools? Are there significant differences in the frequency of suspension when we look at subgroups of children by race/ethnicity and gender? This report, published by the Southern Poverty Law Center with research by CRP Senior Law and Education Policy Associate Daniel Losen and Indiana University Professor Russell Skiba, is designed to help answer these questions.
Research Item Arizona Educational Equity Project: Overview
Researchers and graduate students from four of the nation's top research universities conducted new empirical studies as well as synthesizing existing studies on instructional models and assessment practices for English learners.
Research Item Arizona Educational Equity Project: Abstracts and Papers
This page links to nine papers received as part of the Arizona Educational Equity Project: 21 senior scholars and advanced graduate students from four major research universities joined together under the aegis of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, to produce the studies on the condition of English learner students in Arizona
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