MAR 2017 UPDATES        Like us on Facebook View our videos on YouTube
Former Secretary of Education John King and former Deputy Assistant Secretary Tanya Clay House deliver opening remarks at a strategic planning session for school integration, hosted yesterday by Harvard's "Reimagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools" project.
Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pulls funding for Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities grant program

While Secretary DeVos has expressed support for diverse schools in planned public statements, when provided with a concrete opportunity to help districts create diversity plans, she failed to support it.
As  reported  by Emma Brown in the Washington Post, an anonymous official from the DOE stated that the Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities (ODEO) program was cancelled because "it would not be a wise use of tax dollars, in part because the money was to be used for planning, not implementation." This statement is both factually inaccurate and also indicates a misunderstanding of the barriers to school integration. It is an injustice to communities interested in coming together to develop new education models for their students. 
The intention of the ODEO grant was not only to fund an extended period of public engagement and consultation, but allow applicants with pre-existing integration efforts to implement pre-implementation activities including pilot activities in target schools. Intensive community education and input to the development of socioeconomic integration plans is one of the biggest hurdles school integration efforts face.

See our full press release statement here.
NCSD Partner Quotes:
"This is indicative of an Administration that claims to care about the enduring legacy of Brown v. Board, but whose actions instead show a blatant disregard and lack of will to do the work. When I was at the Department helping to craft this grant, we took the necessary time and energy to meet with districts who wanted and needed federal support to pursue diversity strategies in their schools as part of their effort to close the achievement gap and uplift ALL students. The Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities Grant was a culmination of this deliberative process--and was requested by districts. If Secretary DeVos claims to care about local control, then her actions show otherwise."

-- Tanya Clay House 
Senior Consultant,Schott Foundation for Public Education
(Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, DOE)

How you can help:
Let Secretary DeVos know how you feel about #EDClosingDoors on community led socioeconomic integration. Click here for a list of suggested tweets.

New NCSD Research Brief Examines Complementary Benefits of Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity in Schools 

This month the National Coalition on School Diversity published its a new research brief titled "The Complementary Benefits of Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity in Schools," authored by Jennifer Ayscue, Erica Frankenberg, & Genevieve Siegel-Hawley.

The brief examines what research has revealed about the importance of both racial and socioeconomic diversity in primary and secondary schools. The authors examine the benefits of racial and socioeconomic diversity in isolation, as well as the unique benefits attending racial diversity when accounting for socioeconomic status. 

The authors find that both racial and socioeconomic diversity benefit student performance, especially low-income students and students of color when within-school practices ensure equity of opportunity. Furthermore, and in line with past research conclusions, the authors find the benefits of racial diversity are distinct from socioeconomic diversity, the benefits are not interchangeable, and that schools should seek both racial and socioeconomic diversity.
NCSD Welcomes New Members
Public Advocacy for Kids , led by Arnold Fege, is a policy and advocacy group focused on federal and state public education policies related to funding, equity, integration, teacher preparation and supports, school leadership, growth, and student privacy, with particular emphasis on diversity in K-12 and higher education. PAK works through a number of coalitions, including the Children's Budget Coalition, Coalition for Community Schools, Human Rights Coalition, Coalition for Human Needs, Teacher Quality Coalitions, the Mid Atlantic Equity Center.
The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools , led by David Kirkland, is a  university-based center that focuses on educational research, policy, and practice. The Metro Center partners with and provides resources to organizations at the local and national levels to improve the access to, opportunity for, and quality of education in our nation's schools. In 2017, the Metro Center founded a Resource Center for School Diversity and Integration; the Resource Center supports efforts to integrate NYC schools by convening educators and advocates, providing technical assistance, conducting research, and aiding the development of plans to support citywide integration efforts.

Bridging the Divide in Segregated Public Schools

In a fantastic new four-part series in the Baltimore Sun, reporters Liz Bowie and Erica Green provide an in-depth examination  of how school integration efforts either succeed or fail. NCSD member, Maryland Equity Project, provided data analysis for the series.

The first installment in the series, Bridging the Divide, focuses on recent redistricting efforts in Baltimore County's public schools. While the redistricting represented an opportunity to diversify several schools  and an integration plan was proposed, ultimately old biases and zero sum thinking prevented the plan from taking hold.

In the second installment, Struggles of new East Baltimore school show challenges of integration, Liz Bowie take a look at challenges faced by the Henderson-Hopkins school. Opened in 2014 and  backed by some of Baltimore's most powerful institutions, Henderson-Hopkins was built on a vision in which students of all socioeconomic backgrounds would learn together, and be held to high standards. Despite institutional support, the school struggled out of the gate to achieve its original goals of integration and high academic achievement for all students. However, an ongoing housing redevelopment and new pedagogical efforts within the school are recapturing some of the original optimism around the school's opening.

In the third installment, Within integrated schools, de facto segregation persists, Erica Green examines tracking and within school segregation through the lens of two friends with similar achievement backgrounds who were guided to different paths by teachers. One was encouraged to pursue Advanced Placement coursework, and one counseled against overreaching and encouraged to remain in regular classes. The students reveal their awareness of the unfair and perhaps unconscious disparate expectations based on race, while school personnel interviewed discuss their understanding of the implicit biases that drive these patterns as well as their efforts to change practices for the better. 

In the final installment,  Hartford, Conn., experiment shows challenges, rewards of diversity in schools , Liz Bowie looks to Hartford's extensive school integration efforts, resulting from the Sheff v. O'Neill 1996 Connecticut Supreme Court decision, as an example of successful large-scale integration efforts. As a result of the state supreme court decision and decades of community work, half of Hartford students now attend integrated schools. While many Hartford students still do not attend integrated  schools, Hartford's successes represent a model for integration that Maryland, and other, can work toward.  
NCSD Member Updates
Book Tour: The Color of Law
Richard Rothstein's forthcoming book, The Color of Law, has been hailed as powerful historical work that confronts the reality of how the American government worked in the 20th century to create and maintain the residential racial segregation that plagues our country today.

Rothstein will be holding a series of lectures around the country in the coming months to discuss this important, revealing work. See details below.  
Furthering Diversity in K-12 Schools through Student Assignment (June 1)
On June 1, the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State University, will host an event at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., where school leaders will work alongside one another, advocates, and researchers on various aspects of designing, implementing, and sustaining student assignment plans that promote racial and socioeconomic diversity. 

Possible topics include: engaging and educating district residents about diversity & diversity policies; resources to support technical design/implementation; ideas for furthering outreach to diverse groups; considering use of race, socioeconomic status, and geography to achieve diversity; considering housing and transportation policies to support student assignment; considering equity of policies; and separate tracks for charter/magnet schools for topics such as weighted lotteries for admission. Expected outcomes are establishing on-going support networks for districts and charter schools, and providing school leaders with research to assist them wherever they are in the process of considering or implementing racial and socioeconomic diversity efforts.

Contact Erica Frankenberg, at, for further information about this event.
Upcoming Events of Interest

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Challenges and Possibilities for Education in Maryland
Host: Maryland Equity Project
College Park, MD
Host: Magnet Schools of America  Los Angeles, CA
2017 AERA Annual Meeting: Knowledge to Action, Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity
Host: AERA
San Antonio, TX
NCSD National Conference
Host: National Coalition on School Diversity
New York City, NY

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 * Public Advocacy for Kids * The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

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