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New Manual Seeks to Help Suburban Communities Develop Integration Policies

A new manual released by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) at UCLA provides invaluable guidance for school board members, parents, students, community activists, administrators, policymakers and attorneys in suburban school districts attempting to create and sustain racially diverse, high quality schools. The manual, entitled Integrating Suburban Schools: How to Benefit from Growing Diversity and Avoid Segregation, offers the following:

  • A comprehensive discussion of the critical importance of diverse learning environments in racially changing suburban school districts
  • The history of court-ordered desegregation efforts and an overview of the current legal landscape governing school integration policy
  • General legal principles for creating racially diverse schools
  • The vital role that teachers and administrators play in building integrated schools and classrooms
  • Specific examples of suburban school districts promoting high quality, inclusive and integrated schools
  • Strategies for teaching in racially diverse classrooms
  • Methods for building the political will and support for voluntary integration policies
  • An extensive and reader-friendly list of education and legal resources, including easily-disseminated fact sheets on important topics related to school integration

To download the manual, visit request hard copies, e-mail

NCSD Releases Brief on Magnet Schools

A new NCSD research brief, Magnet School Student Outcomes: What the Research Says, by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley and Erica Frankenberg, outlines six major studies of magnet school student outcomes. Magnet schools, which are programs with special themes or  emphases designed to attract families from a variety of different backgrounds, were originally established to promote voluntary racial integration in urban districts.  

  • Parts of the NCSD brief were previewed in a presentation given by Erica Frankenberg at a recent ESEA briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) at UCLA. 
  • For more information about the CRP briefing, including a list of participants, click here.
  • This NCSD brief, along with all of NCSD's briefs to date, can be found on our website in the "Coalition Research Briefs" section.
NCSD Members Participate in Conference on School Closings Hosted by the Ford Secondary Education and Racial Justice Collaborative

NCSD members were among the 90+ participants gathered at the Ford Foundation on March 28, 2011 to engage in a cross-city dialogue about school closings, transformations and mergers. Diverse teams shared insight into how school closings are affecting parents and families in Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles. Afternoon sessions enabled participants to explore additional dimensions of school closings, including a workshop led by NCSD members Gina Chirichigno (of The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University) and Saba Bireda (of The Poverty and Race Research Action Council). The PowerPoint presentation from this workshop, Connecting the Dots: The Implications of School Closings and Student Assignment for Integration, Equity, and Community Involvement (The Case of Boston), is available here.


For more information about the "Examining School Transformations and Closings from the Ground Up" convening, click here. If you'd like to learn more about the Ford Secondary Education and Racial Justice Collaborative, click here.

NCSD and the Reauthorization of ESEA


NCSD members have been meeting with lawmakers and their staff members about the need to prioritize school integration in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Below you'll find a brief summary of our advocacy efforts:

  • Our NCSD policy brief addresses several key provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that provide policy support and funding to states and localities seeking to deconcentrate poverty and reduce racial isolation in schools.
  • Several NCSD members submitted a policy statement to the Senate HELP Committee outlining suggestions for a new accountability framework. The brief encourages lawmakers to reward districts that make efforts to deconcentrate school poverty and reduce racial isolation. The groups also suggest strengthening the transfer provisions in ESEA and using magnet school transition as a school reform strategy. 

We encourage you to contact us to share your ideas about strengthening ESEA through the reduction of racial/ethnic and poverty concentration. 

List Your Organization and/or Institution on the NCSD Website

In an effort to help connect school integration supporters with NCSD affiliates and one another, we are creating a web listing of organizations and/or institutions striving to acknowledge and reduce the effects of racial and/or socioeconomic isolation. NCSD recognizes that this work takes many forms, and we value the varied roles that individual organizations and institutions play in developing policies and practices rooted in equity, excellence and diversity. We hope our online listing can help facilitate increased communication and collaboration amongst our supporters.  

To include your organization and/or institution on the NCSD listing, email us.

Is heavily investing in reform strategies that ignore racial segregation and regional inequality really the way to go? A recent blog by Bob Braun of the Newark-based Star-Ledger addresses this question, exploring the often "buried issue of racial segregation" in New Jersey's schools. Braun explains that, in the face of budget cuts, educational leaders in New Jersey (not unlike school leaders across the nation) have embraced reforms aimed at "repairing failing urban schools," paying little (if any) attention to the role that racial and economic isolation play in the success of schools and school districts.  Racial isolation in New Jersey is especially pronounced, according to the article.  Braun notes that, "Of 611 school districts, 31 (5 percent) enroll more than 50 percent of all black and Latino children in the state." Lending financial support to struggling districts to help "repair" them may provide momentary cover, but, Braun argues, largely adds to the "rubble of unresolved issues that make for injustice."  To him, a larger question looms, namely, "what happens if the money stops?"

Click here to read the full article, and then share your thoughts through Facebook.


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.

"While the mechanisms of exclusion may vary, the continuation of a segregated and unequal system continues. To challenge this system, we must repeatedly ask whether a particular policy or process furthers segregation and inequality, or, rather, promotes equity and fairness and the ability for all children to receive a high quality education. This, to me, is the fundamental lens through which these policy decisions must be made."


--Donna Nevel

Challenging a Segregated and Unequal School System



April/May 2011

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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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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:
  • Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Northeastern University
  • Jomills Henry Braddock II, University of Miami
  • Casey Cobb, University of Connecticut
  • John Diamond, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Erica Frankenberg, Penn State University
  • Douglas Harris, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Jennifer Jellison Holme, University of Texas at Austin
  • Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation
  • Jamie Lew, Rutgers University
  • Roslyn Mickelson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Pedro Noguera, New York University
  • sean reardon, Stanford University
  • Vanessa Siddle Walker, Emory University
  • Linda Tropp, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Richard Valencia, University of Texas at Austin
  • Amy Stuart Wells, Columbia University
  • 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
UNC cover

by Mark Dorosin, Elizabeth Haddix, Benita Jones, Christie Trice of the UNC Center for Civil Rights 
Examining history, educational data, and civil rights law, the report argues that the maintenance of three separate, racially segregated school districts in Halifax County, North Carolina, is a continuing violation of the constitutional rights of all students and severely undermines the quality of public education throughout the country. 
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National Coalition on School Diversity

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Phone: 202-906-8023

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