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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 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.
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 Charters as a Driver of Resegregation
Building upon existing research that finds charter schools tend to be more segregated than traditional public schools, this report describes how charter schools also contribute to resegregation in traditional public schools. The authors explore the direct and indirect ways in which this occurs through a case study of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in North Carolina.
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