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Putting Integration "Back on the Table"

School Integration Discussed in Today's New York Times

Separate and Unequal

by Bob Herbert

March 22, 2011

 

"The current obsession with firing teachers, attacking unions and creating ever more charter schools has done very little to improve the academic outcomes of poor black and Latino students. Nothing has brought about gains on the scale that is needed."  

 

"One of the most powerful tools for improving the educational achievement of poor black and Hispanic public school students is, regrettably, seldom even considered. It has become a political no-no."

--read the full article

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WHAT'S NEW?
The National Coalition on School Diversity's updated website is up and running!!  The website houses all of NCSD's advocacy documents to date, as well as resources for integration researchers, advocates, and practitioners. Here's some of what you will find:
  • Coalition research briefs describing new research on school diversity published by Teachers College Record in 2010
  • A research summary on the effects of school poverty concentration 
  • Highlights from state and local campaigns, including links to this parents resource guide describing the school integration programs in Hartford, CT 

We hope you take a few minutes to visit school-diversity.org and encourage you to send us your feedback and suggest resources for us to add.

FEDERAL ADVOCACY
NCSD Urges Diversity Preference for Second i(3) Competition

The NCSD submitted this letter to the U.S. Department of Education, suggesting that a new "competitive preference" category be added to the DOE's evaluation criteria for its 2011 Investing in Innovation Fund competition. Since rejecting the NCSD's suggestion of a diversity preference for the 2010 i(3) competition, the DOE has recognized "promoting diversity" in its list of proposed priorities for discretionary programs.  More significantly, perhaps, the DOE added a competitive preference for "projects that are designed to promote student diversity, including racial and ethnic diversity, or avoid racial isolation" to its 2011 Charter School Program funding guidelines.
STATE & LOCAL PROGRESS
Colbert Show Addresses "Disintegration" in Wake County
Colbert on Integration
In January of 2010, news personality Stephen Colbert covered the efforts of newly-elected school board members in Wake County, NC to replace the district's student assignment plan. The plan was designed to ensure that no school had a school population comprised of more than 40% low-income students nor a school population where more than 25% of its students were performing below grade level on state exams. Prior to Colbert's news commentary, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan published a letter in the Washington Post recognizing that "racial isolation is not a positive outcome for children of any color or background." Duncan urged educational leaders to "fully consider the consequences before taking such actions."
  • Click here to view the Colbert Show segment on "disintegration"
  • Click here to learn about the ongoing efforts of business leaders in Wake County to propose alternatives
  • Click here to read the Title VI complaint filed by NAACP leaders alleging that Wake County intentionally created a system of racially segregated schools by making changes to its student assignment plan
"No Superman in Suburbia"
In this recent Huffington Post article, educational researcher Amy Stuart Wells discusses the story of Kelley Williams-Bolar of Akron, Ohio. Williams-Bolar was convicted of two felony counts of falsifying residency records (She used her father's address to register her daughters to attend public schools in his suburban district). Williams-Bolar served a nine-day jail sentence.

Amy Stuart Wells talks about Williams-Bolar's case in the context of the nation's eight interdistrict integration programs that allow students to cross district boundaries.  

  • Click here to read a 2009 research brief on interdistrict integration programs published by Amy Stuart Wells
  • Learn more about interdistrict integration efforts in Omaha, NE and Hartford, CT 
Merger in Memphis?
On March 8, Memphis voted overwhelmingly in favor of merging the city's school system with neighboring suburban Shelby County. The merger would create a new system of more than 140,000 students and the new district would have significantly more African American and low-income students than currently attend Shelby County schools. The vote comes on the heels of a contentious fight between the two districts over Shelby County's move to declare "special district" status, thereby altering the tax base sharing system the two districts currently have in place. By surrendering its charter, the Memphis district preserved its ability to receive funds from the county. The Shelby County Board of Education filed a federal lawsuit in February to challenge the Memphis action.  Read more here. 
INTEGRATION IN THE NEWS 

TIR_graphic

The Civil Rights Project at UCLA publishes The Integration Report, a monthly digest featuring news about integration programs nationwide. For more information or to sign up, click here.
 FEATURED QUOTE

"There  is a strange quality to the turnaround debate, in which we stand in awe of the impressive efforts of a  few schools and ignore the larger reality that economic segregation normally perpetuates failure."

 

-- Richard D. Kahlenberg

Turnaround Schools That Work: Moving Beyond Separate but Equal

The Century Foundation 

Issue

March 2011

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school-diversity.org

About NCSD
The National Coalition on School Diversity is a network of national civil rights organizations, university-based research institutes, local educational advocacy groups, and academic researchers seeking a greater commitment to racial and economic diversity in federal K-12 education policy and funding. We seek to procure a more significant political and financial commitment to racial and economic integration. We also support the work of state and local school diversity practitioners.
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Integration
Research
Network
The National Coalition on School Diversity is forming a network to help increase communication between education researchers, policymakers, and advocates. If you are an educational researcher and are interested in learning more about this developing community of researchers, please email the NCSD. 

To help inform NCSD's efforts, we are also in the process of creating a Research Advisory Panel. Confirmed members to date include:
  • Amy Stuart Wells
  • Roslyn Mickelson
  • Pedro Noguera 
  • Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
  • Casey Cobb
  • Erica Frankenberg
  • Jennifer Jellison Holme 
  • sean reardon
  • Linda Tropp
NCSD 
Steering
Committee 
  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Poverty & Race Research Action Council
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School
  • Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA
  • University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights
  • Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota
  • Professor Derek Black of Howard University School of Law
  • Professor Kevin Welner at the University of Colorado
  • Professor John C. Brittain at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law
New Research
and Reports
 
by Nancy McArdle, Theresa Osypuk, and Dolores Acevedo-García 
 
This diversitydata.org report describes patterns of school segregation and poverty concentration of 30,989 public primary schools in the 100 largest metropolitan areas for the 2008-09 school year.  The report also addresses the enormous challenges that children in high-poverty schools face and offers ideas for reform.
 
 
by Gary Orfield, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley and John Kucsera 
 
Civil Rights Project
researchers explore the effects of increasing school segregation for Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups in Southern California. This report provides the first comprehensive, region-wide study of school enrollment and segregation patterns, achievement and college matriculation outcomes, and educational opportunity disparities in the six counties in Southern California.
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CONTACT US

National Coalition on School Diversity

c/o Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC)

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-906-8023

Mailing Address: 1200 18th St. NW #200 Washington, DC 20036