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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 School Integration in Gentrifying Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City
In gentrifying areas of New York City, this research finds that a small but growing segment of middle-class, mostly White families is choosing to enroll their children in their neighborhood public elementary schools, thus increasing the diversity in those schools. Because residential and school segregation across the nation have traditionally had a symbiotic relationship where an increase in one leads to an increase in the other, the demographic phenomenon associated with gentrification where neighborhoods become more diverse has the potential to alleviate persistent school segregation, a major cause of educational inequity.
Research Item Asian Americans and Race-Conscious Admissions: Understanding the Conservative Opposition’s Strategy of Misinformation, Intimidation & Racial Division
This report examines the current wave of attacks against race-conscious policies in postsecondary admissions (or affirmative action as the policy is more commonly termed), focuses specifically on the roles that Asian Americans have come to play, both unwillingly and willingly, in opposition efforts, and presents new research on Asian Americans’ support for affirmative action.
Research Item How accountability can increase racial inequality: The case of federal risk-sharing
This research was presented in September 2018, along with 4 others looking at the impacts of current federal policies and/or proposals that impact college access for students of color. This paper finds federal risk-sharing policies based on loan repayment rates—even if well-intended—are likely to reinforce racial and economic inequality.
Research Item The Unequal Impact of Suspension on the Opportunity to Learn in CA
In 2016-17, schoolchildren in California lost an estimated 763,690 days of instruction time, a figure based on the combined total of 381,845 in-school suspensions (ISS) and out-of-school suspensions (OSS). This is an updated report on CA suspension practice.
Research Item Teachers of English Language Learners in Secondary Schools: Gaps in Preparation and Support
The authors analyze data from a survey distributed among secondary teachers in a large urban school district to examine how well prepared they feel to teach ELs.
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.
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