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Metro and Regional Inequalities

Research in this section focuses attention on the structure of economic and social opportunities created by the intersection of metropolitan and regional housing, education, transportation, growth, workforce and other policies, all within a context of often dramatic demographic changes.

The challenges to creating and implementing an anti-discrimination agenda call for a renewed, creative agenda that recognizes the structural, multi-layered impediments to opportunities faced in minority communities. The most obvious, although often overlooked, is the interrelationship between housing and schools, especially residential segregation by class and race. Other topics are less familiar, such as the relationship between racial justice and "smart growth," or racial justice evaluations of metropolitan transportation planning.


Recent Metro and Regional Inequalities Research

Research Item Indiana’s Choice Scholarship: Participation & Impact on Achievement
This is 1 of 4 studies that were presented on March 5, 2018 on Capitol Hill at a briefing, "Bringing Civil Rights Research to Bear on Voucher Programs: Are the Promises Realized?" The Indiana Choice Scholarship Program (ICSP), launched in 2011, offers an opportunity to study how a large-scale K-12 private school tuition voucher program works and to analyze the results it has produced in its first few years. This four-year evaluation of the Indiana program is one of a few recent studies that finds statistically significant negative effects on students’ mathematics achievement of using a voucher to switch from a public to a private school in the first years after a choice program’s launch. These findings are the same for students of all races or ethnicities, whether African American, Latino, white, or multiracial. Our research also indicates that voucher students begin to recoup their academic losses in their third and fourth years of attending a private school. Students transitioning to a private school may need time to acclimate to what are usually more rigorous academic standards and higher expectations for homework and schoolwork.
Research Item Washington, D.C.'s Voucher Program: Civil Rights Implications
This is 1 of 4 working papers presented on March 5, 2018 at Capitol Hill briefing, "Bringing Civil Rights Research to Bear on Voucher Programs: Are the Promises Realized?" The District of Columbia has the nation’s only school voucher program established and funded by the federal government. In thinking about the federal initiative in an arena that is a top priority of the Trump Administration it is well to assess this effort over the last 15 years. Clearly the advocates had very high hopes that it would be a major solution to the weak educational results for children in schools that were overwhelmingly poor and nonwhite. Unlike most of the voucher programs this one mandated evaluations, but the results of the evaluations the federal government has commissioned have been seriously disappointing. This paper examines the goals of the program, the hopes of its authors and supporters, and the skeptical predictions of its opponents, and what actually happened.
Research Item Private Schools in American Education: A Small Sector Still Lagging in Diversity
This is one of 4 working papers presented on March 5, 2018 in a briefing on Capitol Hill, "Bringing Civil Rights Research to Bear on Voucher Programs: Are the Promises Realized?" This report explores how the size and share of private education has changed in the U.S. over two decades, from 1995 to 2015-16 (the most recent federal data), along with how the students are divided among different kinds of private schools: secular, Catholic, and non-Catholic religious schools. It also examines the racial composition of these schools, providing key data for evaluating the civil rights dimension of private schooling and voucher policies.
Research Item Private School Vouchers: Legal Challenges and Civil Rights Protections
This is 1 of 4 working papers presented on March 5, 2018 at a briefing on Capitol Hill, "Bringing Civil Rights Research to Bear on Voucher Programs: Are the Promises Realized?" In this report, the authors detail the evolution of voucher policies, from their roots in the Jim Crow Era to their modern-day applications, including the rise of “neovoucher” programs; the past legal challenges to vouchers; factors that may influence the legal justifications of vouchers, including the quality of education for students of color in voucher programs; key policy issues that arise from this shift toward greater public funding of private schools; and conclude with a set of recommendations focused on civil rights protections.
Research Item Realizing the Economic Advantages of a Multilingual Workforce
As markets have transitioned from agricultural to industrial to what is now the information age, there are tremendous opportunities for those who can analyze, collaborate, and communicate with people all over the world while providing services in the local language of the client. These workers can compete for work in their home markets and in markets where their language fluency puts them at an advantage over those with only monolingual skills—like many in the American workforce.
Research Item Fulfilling America’s Future: Latinas in the U.S., 2015
At 54 million, Hispanics now make up the largest ethnic minority in the country. Currently, Hispanic girls and women are one in five women in the U.S. and will comprise nearly one third of the country’s female population by 2060. Ensuring they are positioned for success is a fundamental responsibility and an important economic opportunity for the country.
Research Item New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future
New York has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools. Heavily impacting these state rankings is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation.
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