DEC 2016 UPDATES        Like us on Facebook View our videos on YouTube

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres addresses a group of school integration advocates during a monthly convening. Councilman Torres recently put forth a bill proposing an Office of School Diversity within the city's Commission on Human Rights.
Betsy DeVos Nominated for Secretary of Education  
On November 23, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Betsy DeVos, former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, as the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

DeVos, known for her role in helping develop and maintain Detroit's ailing charter school system, has historically supported organizations that advocate for increased school choice, school vouchers that direct public funds to private institutions, and the creation of more charter school programs.  In response to this nomination, the civil rights community has issued a series of powerful statements to assure DeVos that her actions will be closely monitored, and any attempted roll-back of students' civil rights protections will be challenged.
  • Senator Patty Murray released a statement regarding the DeVos nomination.
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released a statement regarding the DeVos nomination with 33 organizations signed on, including several NCSD members.
  • The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Agency penned a joint letter regarding the DeVos nomination, which now has over 110,000 signees. To add you name to the letter, email Tor Corwin at AFT.
In addition, the NCSD met with Senate committee staff about the confirmation hearing.
Please help sustain NCSD's legislative efforts with a donation!

Much of the NCSD's day-to-day work is undertaken by member organizations, with staff support from the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC). However, the contract we have entered into with the skilled lobbyists at the Raben Group this past year-- which you likely have noticed has had a powerful impact on the coalition's work--is not covered by our general foundation funds ( in fact we are prohibited from using our foundation grant funds for lobbying!). 

For this reason, we are asking you to consider making  a tax-deductible contribution to PRRAC to help cover this expense.  Thank you for your support. 
School Diversity in Action Updates 

Following up on the successful "School Diversity in Action" conference in October at the Department of Education (co-sponsored by NCSD and The Century Foundation), we will be reporting in this space on the latest news and innovations from this growing network of school districts around the country that are working to build more diverse and inclusive schools.
Morristown, NJ
The Morris School District in Morristown, New Jersey, has acted as a guiding light in school integration. Created in 1971 by a court-ordered merger of urban and suburban systems, the 5,226-student district endured early unrest and resistance to integration and now remains one of the few merged districts still operating. One key to the district's longevity is its officials' willingness to continually adjust practices to accommodate  changing student populations. 
On December 13th, Secretary King visited Goldsmith Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky's Jefferson County School District to discuss the importance of school integration. Jefferson County School District has a long and sustained history of integration efforts which have become a point of pride for the school system and its residents. During the roundtable discussion, Secretary King emphasized the important role of integrated schools in an increasingly diverse society, and highlighted the growing number of communities around the country that are working to build and sustain community support for school integration. In keeping with the theme of community support for integrated schools, King announced the Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities grant program at the event (described in more detail below). 

"We need to recognize the multicultural makeup of our country as an asset, not a liability. This means we need schools that embrace diversity. Diverse schools are great preparation for all students. They help more children succeed, help broaden students' perspectives, and help prepare them to participate in a global workforce. And I am convinced that the growing conflicts in this country over race and religion and language would be profoundly reduced if our children were able to learn and play alongside classmates who were different from themselves and if they regularly encountered teachers and leaders of color in their schools."
by John King
New legislation introduced by New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres, who represents the 15th District in the Bronx, proposes the creation of an office of school diversity within New York City's Human Rights Commission. Council Member Brad Lander co-sponsored the bill.

The new office would be tasked with applying New York City's human rights law, which prohibits discrimination in terms of impact as well as intent, to the issue of segregation in the city's schools. The office would be responsible for examining the causes of intense segregation in NYC's schools.

NCSD Welcomes New Members
UnifiEd is a community-led movement of parents, teachers, and citizens in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Founded in 2014, the group is committed to improving their local schools through training which enables citizens to advocate on behalf of teachers and students. Part of the group's efforts to improve their community's education offerings focuses on support for greater socioeconomic diversity in their schools.

The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy engages emerging and established members of the philanthropic community through a variety of publications and programming, as well as coursework and fellowships providing real-world experience in grantmaking for social justice. The Sillerman Center sponsors research on the impacts of philanthropic giving, sponsors competitions to stimulate innovative thinking, and maintains a network of partnerships to support and amplify voices advancing the cause of social justice.
NCSD Member Updates

By  Co-Directors, Erica Frankenberg & Liliana M. Garces

After a polarizing presidential election that has incited hateful incidents in our schools and communities, we have a renewed sense of purpose in our mission to promote racial equity and to preserve the basic civil rights and liberties that form the foundation of democracy in our multiracial society. 

The Center for Education and Civil Rights (CECR) was established because of the importance of education in remedying the racial and economic inequality that exists in communities around the United States. For our democracy to be a reality, we cannot ignore the segregation that exists at all levels of the educational pipeline, from birth to graduate school. Nor can we overlook the fact that our political leadership is unreflective of the diversity of all members of our community.  
In one of the U.S. Supreme Court's most monumental decisions, Brown v. Board of Education, a united Court acknowledged the unique importance of integrated education more than 60 years ago:  

Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities.... It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values.

With these principles in mind, we will work with our partners to help create and sustain educational spaces that bring us together in ways that bridge the deep divisions in our country. Through our collective efforts to realize authentic integration in our schools, we will dismantle a system of racial hierarchy and move toward mutual respect, understanding and connection. 

These challenging times will require new strategies to reduce the divisiveness and targeting of individuals on the basis of their identity. We cannot stand by threats and actions that are fundamentally at odds with our nation's ideals of inclusiveness and equality. We stand with schools, universities, and other organizations that are on the front lines of education and social justice. 

Now, more than ever, there is a critical role for centers like CECR to produce insightful research regarding the complicated intersections of race, class, opportunity, and rights; to build a vast network of collaborative relationships to promote our factual findings and counteract pernicious misinformation; and to facilitate action at the local, state, and federal levels to advance racial equity.  

On January 14, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Penn State University. He said: 

[W]e have come a long, long way. And I am absolutely convinced that the system of segregation is on its deathbed today, and the only thing uncertain about it is how costly the segregationists will make the funeral. 

Now nearly 52 years later, we have just endured an election that revealed to all of us just how divided we still are. This is the time for us to stand together. We welcome your ideas, and your engagement in these efforts.  

In the wake of the recent election, many children have been exposed to vitriolic, public attacks on the communities to which they belong. In an effort to help parents, teachers, caregivers, and others create a framework to deal with the rising tide of hateful language and its impact on children, several NCSD members and affiliated researchers have contributed to, which provides a wealth of research-backed resources for addressing hate speech and its damaging effects.
U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Programs

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced several grant opportunities designed to support racial and socioeconomic integration in schools:
  • A new grant program, Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities offers up to $12 million for 20 district or groups of districts for the purpose of developing plans to increase socioeconomic integration in schools and completing pre-implementation activities that are focused on student diversity. In addition to using socioeconomic status grantees can promote student diversity through other avenues, such as considering factors like students' race and ethnicity. Competition funds may be put toward a variety of goals, such as community engagement seeking input on the best approaches to promote student diversity, conducting data analysis, setting measurable diversity goals, and preliminary steps toward implementation of diversity efforts. This competition is open to all districts with schools that receive or are eligible for School Improvement Grants, with rural districts and those wishing to explore interdistrict integration efforts receiving priority.  
  • The first round of grants from the Education Research and Innovation Program, which replaces the Investing in Innovation grant competition, was announced on December 15th. The early-phase grant competition, which can be found here, includes an absolute priority focused on student diversity.
Upcoming Events of Interest

12/30/16 Deadline for Call for Proposals: the space traders: intersections of race, politics and education
Host: Critical Race Studies in Education Association 
View the CFP
Federal education policy under the Trump administration 
Host: The Brookings Institution
Washington, DC
01/09/17 Deadline for submitting Notice of Intent to Apply for MSAP
Host: U.S. Department of Education
Submit Form
How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color
Host: Schott Foundation for Public Education 
"Activities by community, civic, government and corporate leaders will spur efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias and build an equitable and just society so that all children can thrive."
2017 National Policy Training Conference: Building on a Legacy of Excellence
Host: Magnet Schools of America
Washington, DC

The National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD) is a network of national civil rights organizations, university-based research centers, and state and local coalitions working to expand support for government policies that promote school diversity and reduce racial isolation. We also support the work of state and local school diversity practitioners. Our work is informed by an advisory panel of scholars and academic researchers whose work relates to issues of equity, diversity, and desegregation/integration .

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational 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  * Magnet Schools of America  * One Nation Indivisible  * Teaching Tolerance  * Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School  * Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA  * Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University  * University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights  * Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University  * Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley  * Education Rights Center, Howard University School of Law  * Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School  * Education Law Center  * New York Appleseed  * Sheff Movement Coalition  * Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation  * ERASE Racism  * Chicago Lawyers' Committee  * Empire Justice Center  * IntegrateNYC4me  * Intercultural Development Research Association  * Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education * Institute for Social Progress at Wayne County Community College District  * Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity at Rutgers Law School  * Equity Assistance Center (Region II) at Touro College *  The Office of Transformation and Innovation at the Dallas Independent School District  * Live Baltimore * Maryland Equity Project  * Center for Education and Civil Rights  * National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector  * The Center for Diversity and Equality in Education at Rutgers University * Being Black at School * UnifiEd * The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

Contact Us
  National Coalition on School Diversity
c/o Poverty and Race Research Action Council
Mailing Address: 1200 18th St. NW #200 Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-544-5066