Omaha's Socioeconomic Integration Plan Featured in American Prospect
A recent article in the American Prospect describes the promise and challenges of a newly developed interdistrict integration model being implemented in Omaha, NE. "Because Omaha's socioeconomic mix matches that of the country overall, because the area is small enough to make interdistrict transportation possible, and because of its sheer ambition," Omaha "is a perfect place to show the rest of the nation how school integration could work," writes Sharon Lerner. Eleven districts in the Omaha region participate in the Learning Community and operate on a shared tax base, which is overseen by the Learning Community Coordinating Council.
NCSD Members Submit Letter on Student Assignment in Wake County
This month, NCSD members submitted a letter to the U.S. DOE's Office of Civil Rights about the need for clear guidance on student assignment. The letter was written in support of a Title VI complaint filed by civil rights leaders against the Wake County (North Carolina) Board of Education as a result of its decision to dismantle the district's socioeconomic diversity student assignment plan. "Prior to the current resegregative plan," NCSD members noted, "the Wake County socioeconomic diversity plan served to mitigate many of the negative effects of individual and school-level poverty, creating racially diverse schools and opportunities for low-income students to learn." In the letter, NCSD members again urged the DOE to take a more active role in supporting school integration efforts by offering incentives to districts that take steps to reduce racial and socioeconomic isolation.
To read the letter submitted to OCR by NCSD members, click here.
|Parent Organizing and The Challenge for Equity and Access in New York City
Written for NCSD by Donna Nevel
Making sure the voices of parents and families are at the center of discussions about segregation and inequality in our public schools is more important than ever -- not only for understanding and documenting the lack of equitable access to public schools, but also for determining how to best move forward and effect change. Parents in NYC concerned with equity and access have been doing just that. Parents from a range of communities have come together to think about how to ensure that admissions policies are fair and that schools reflect the diverse communities we live in. In two districts in NYC (Districts 1 and 3), parents have identified and documented the problem of structural inequality in our schools.
Right now, we are exploring possibilities for the development and implementation of equitable assignment plans, particularly looking at a controlled choice admissions policy. We are interested in controlled choice because, as Michael Alves, who has developed and implemented controlled choice in school districts across the country, has said: "Controlled choice is an educationally sound, transparent, and equity-driven method of assigning students to public schools that empowers parents to choose the schools they want their children to attend in a manner that is fair to all students and is practicable to implement."
In addition to wanting to initiate a planning process to explore the possibility of controlled choice, parents recognize the importance of meaningful parent partnership and leadership throughout every stage of the process, particularly for parents and caretakers of low income, immigrant, and children of color, English language learners, and children with special needs, all communities that have been disproportionately affected by inequitable access to our public schools.
As Afshan Nawaz of the Parent Leadership Program makes clear: "The role of parents is so important. We experience many problems when trying to apply to the schools in our District and know that our leadership and experience can and will make a real difference, especially if we work together as a community."
| SHARE YOUR WORK WITH THE NCSD NETWORK|
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
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
"Schools should prepare all students to excel. The fact that such gross levels of disparity continue must not be met with apathy or acceptance but be confronted to ensure that our children and our nation can thrive in an increasingly diverse and challenging world."
--Nancy McArdle, Theresa Osypuk, and Dolores Acevedo-García
Segregation and Exposure to High-Poverty Schools in Large Metropolitan Areas: 2008-09
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.
If you no longer want to receive NCSD updates, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the top of this email.
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
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 |
by Susan Eaton and Gina Chirichigno
A new report reviews Massachusetts' Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program. METCO is the nation's second longest running voluntary interdistrict school desegregation program. The program sends Boston and Springfield students to public schools in surrounding suburbs.
METCO Merits More,
published by the Pioneer Institute, in collaboration with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, is the first comprehensive review of the program in nearly a decade. The report includes data on student enrollment, performance, demographics, graduation and college attainment rates, waiting list, and funding.
to listen to co-author Susan Eaton and METCO director Katani Sumner discuss "METCO Merits More" on the June 7th Callie Crossley show.
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