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Associate Justice-designate Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to Supreme Court was confirmed on April 7th by the U.S. Senate. She remarked during the confirmation hearing that: “My parents attended, and had to attend, racially segregated schools….The fact that we had come that far was, to me, a testament to the hope and the promise of this country….That in one generation…we could go from racially segregated schools in Florida to have me sitting here as the first Floridian ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court....”


Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board

"The Board is aware of no decision of any appellate court — and the Coalition has cited none — holding that public education authorities violate the Equal Protection Clause by adopting race-neutral student admissions criteria in order to promote increased socioeconomic and racial diversity."

--Donald Verrilli, Jr.

Representing the Fairfax County School Board attorney

(and former U.S. Solicitor General) in response to an emergency request from the Coalition for TJ et al to ask the Supreme Court to put a stay on the 4th Circuit's ruling

“Every student has a right to a fair shot at receiving an excellent education, regardless of their income, where they grew up, or their racial and ethnic background. But for well over a decade, the TJ admission process failed to identify all Black, Latino, and underserved Asian American students with the aptitude to excel. It would have been a serious mistake — and, as the court’s order notes, contrary to Supreme Court precedent — to allow this fairer system to be enjoined."

--Statement by NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice,

and Latino Justice PRLDEF in response to 4th Circuit ruling

On April 25th, the Supreme Court rejected a request for emergency relief from the Coalition for TJ to stop Thomas Jefferson High School administrators from using a new admissions policy for TJ's Class of 2026. The request had been joined by Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares and Republican attorneys general from 15 states. 


As described in the New York Times, the most well-known case currently challenging admissions changes at competitive schools is Coalition for TJ v. Fairfax County School Board. The plaintiffs in the case claim that non-race-based criteria (such as reducing reliance on test scores) at Thomas Jefferson High School, intended to achieve greater racial diversity in the student body, are subject to strict scrutiny under the 14th Amendment because of a foreseeable reduction in the percentage of students in one or more racial/ethnic groups (in this case, Asian-American students). 

Previously, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia agreed with the plaintiffs, finding that the Fairfax County School Board acted with discriminatory intent in its efforts to increase the representation of Black and Latino students at Thomas Jefferson. As a result, the judge enjoined school administrators from using the policy. On appeal, a Fourth Circuit panel granted a stay of the ruling, allowing implementation of the new admissions policy to go forward.

Why Does It Matter?

The original decision from the Eastern District of Virginia federal court is very troubling since the school district was following the Supreme Court's 2007 majority opinion from the Parents Involved case in its efforts to increase racial diversity at the school (for example, allocating a significant number of seats to the highest-ranking students at each feeder middle school in the region and eliminating test scores as the deciding factor in awarding seats to the remaining applicants).

The Supreme Court's refusal to stop the enactment of the policy while this case is under appeal is promising. However, the Supreme Court might eventually hear the case and issue a new standard for how public schools go about achieving racial and socioeconomic diversity. The Supreme Court is preparing to consider challenges to the holistic affirmative action programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A decision in those cases, though governed by a different set of legal precedents, could have an effect on diversity efforts in K-12 schools.

Related News:

  • Divided Supreme Court Allows Selective High School's Diversity Policy by Greg Stohr (Bloomberg, April 25) - “'This court has long recognized that seeking to improve diversity -- including geographic, socioeconomic, and racial diversity -- is not the same as pursuing racial balancing, and that the former goal may be pursued through race-neutral methods,' the school board argued."

We will continue to watch these developments closely.



The Legacy of Jim Crow Still Affects Funding for Public Schools

NCSD member Derek Black co-authored (with Axton Crolley) this piece for The Conversation“An important step in remedying entrenched school funding inequalities is to first recognize that they are rooted in the history of Jim Crow segregation. Another potential step is to return to the more centralized approach of Reconstruction – an approach that states during their progressive eras have long recognized. And this step makes good constitutional sense, too. After all, every state constitution places the ultimate obligation to fund and deliver public education on states, not local governments."


A prelude to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, Mendez v. Westminster successfully challenged the segregation of Mexican/Latinx students in California public schools. The 75th anniversary of the Ninth Circuit decision was on April 14th (the case never reached the Supreme Court).


We've compiled a list of events and related materials commemorating the anniversary:

  • Video: Latinos for Education and MALDEF hosted a virtual town hall with prominent Latino leaders to reflect on Latinos' progress and wins since this case, assess the current state of educational equity for Latinos, and discuss what challenges remain ahead.

  • Article: Long-Run Impacts of Mexican-American School Desegregation by Francisca M. Antman & Kalena E. Cortes (Brookings Institution, April 15) - "A Pew Research Center study found that in the 2018-2019 school year, 56% of Hispanic students and 43% of Black students attended public schools where half or more of the students were of the same race or ethnicity. For white students, that figure was 79%."

  • Video: The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute hosted an online screening of Mendez v. Westminster: For all the Children and a conversation commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the landmark court case.

  • Video: The Federal Bar Association of Chicago hosted a panel discussion about the Ninth Circuit's landmark ruling (you must enter your contact information to gain access).

  • Article: Mendez v. Westminster, Which Ended Forced School Segregation, Concluded 75 Years Ago Today by Ian Hanigan (OCDE Newsroom, April 14) - "'The Mendez case marks a critically important turning point not just for Orange County but for our entire nation, and its reverberations extended into all areas of society where separate-but-equal policies challenged equity for all citizens,' Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares said."

NCSD and IDRA honored the legacy of Sylvia Mendez for Women's History Month this year. (It's a great time to retweet some of that content!)

  • Check out and (RETWEET) our Twitter thread featuring resources for parents/caretakers and educators:

  • Educators can access "primary sources to foster historical thinking" about Mendez v. Winchester at DocsTeach - an online tool for teaching via the National Archives Foundation.

Speaking of anniversaries...

What are you planning for the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education?

We're building a database of events, publications, and announcements for the upcoming anniversary on May 17th.

Planning something, or do you know of anything? Email Michael Mouton at mmouton@prrac.org.

National -

Kentucky -

New Jersey -

  • As Judge Mulls School Segregation Case, Lawmakers Look at Potential Solutions by P. Kenneth Burns (New Jersey Monitor, April 18) - “'This lawsuit is super important because it’s at the root of so many issues Black and Latino people have,' said Jesselly De La Cruz, executive director of plaintiff Latino Action Network. 'We don’t have a workforce that looks like us and that’s able to meet our needs, and a lot of that is because educational attainment is very difficult. Now we need to find what is part of that solution.'”

New York -

  • NYC Unveils Changes to ‘Gifted’ Program, Adding 1,000 Seats to Third Grade by Christine Veiga (Chalkbeat, April 14) - "Allison Roda, a professor at Molloy College who advised the previous administration on how to overhaul its current programs, noted that most of the country’s gifted classrooms — regardless of what grade they begin in — are segregated. Expanding the current model in third grade isn’t likely to make classrooms more representative, she said in an interview prior to the city’s announcement. 'It’s just based on competition, and an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality, and winners and losers,' she said. 'We’ve critiqued this program as only serving a small percentage of students and we’ve critiqued them for segregation. We’ve critiqued them for the advantage that students received all the way through, not just in elementary but beyond, and I think they need to address all of those.'"

  • Related: Time to End the Zero-Sum Mindset and Adopt Inclusive, Gifted-for-All Programs in Public Schools by Allison Roda, Yvette Jackson, & Halley Potter (The 74, April 10) - "Many more students lack access to G&T classes than have it. Why not use those numbers as the rationale to provide gifted education to all? What is now a private commodity that benefits mostly white and Asian students can become a public good for all children. It is time to set a new path forward and celebrate all students for their unique abilities and strengths, rather than labeling and sorting them."



The School Superintendents Association dedicated the April 2022 issue of its magazine, School Administrator, to the issue of “Student Integration.”

Making Strides on School Integration (pg. 18)

By Halley Potter and Michelle Burris

Several school systems are making progress on racial and socioeconomic integration, according to a pair of researchers with the Century Foundation who studied the districts.

Opportunities for Integration from Gentrification (pg. 21)

By Kfir Mordechay and Allison Roda

Historically, gentrification has been a modest force of urban change, largely driven by avant-garde artists and concentrated in a small number of neighborhoods in cities such as New York and San Francisco. In recent decades, however, the breadth and scope of gentrification has accelerated far beyond these two cities, growing faster than researchers' ability to track it.

Acknowledging a Crisis (pg. 24)

By Decoteau J. Irby

New creative structures and routines that have worked during the pandemic deserve to endure in the fight against racial inequities in K-12 education. The author recently published Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership.

Academic Redlining (pg. 28)

By Christopher H. Tienken & J. Kenyon Kummings

The school district in Wildwood City, N.J., with about 1,000 students, is attempting to eliminate educational inequities that are hiding in plain sight.

The Equity Equation Includes Counseling Support (pg. 30)

Access to higher-level course work is only one variable in the equity equation. Academic and social-emotional support and empathy will be needed once students have access to more demanding classes.

Navigating Discussions of Race and Class (pg. 32)

By Peter L. Stiepleman

A superintendent's self-reflective review of how his leadership work addressing racial equity played out during his seven-year tenure in a Missouri school system.

Viewing the World Differently (pg. 38)

By Baruti K. Kafele

To serve students well, a veteran urban principal insists educators understand their cultural identities and act to change learners' attitudes. The author recently published The Equity & Social Justice Education 50: Critical Questions for Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Students.


On March 31st, NCSD member group the Othering & Belonging Institute hosted three brilliant authors who have helped create reports on local histories of segregation for the San Francisco Bay Area and Hartford, Connecticut. The event was a part of OBI's "Roots of Structural Racism Project," where they are compiling local histories of segregation into a repository

The speakers included: 


New Podcast Episode:


New Report:

  • CECR director and co-author of the report, Erica Frankenberg, was quoted in Chalkbeat describing the report's findings: “The disparities for Black children were stunning in terms of the lack of access to the providers that were going to be getting more support from the state of Pennsylvania.”

New Publications:


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  • In March, the Biden Administration took a major step forward in proposing a new set of priorities and requirements for applicants for federal charter school grants.In addition to eliminating for-profit providers from eligibility, the new priorities encourage collaboration with local public school districts, promote school diversity where possible, and require a “community impact analysis” to prevent urban charters from causing deeper poverty concentration and student need in the public schools they draw from. PRRAC's comments to the Department of Education strongly supported of the new priorities, citing evidence of the impacts of charters in several states.



New Research Briefing:

  • New York City Yellow Bus Research Briefing: The briefing provides the legal history of yellow-bus service, an analysis of the most recent available data on the usage of yellow-bus service for NYC, and recommendations garnered from our research. Despite the importance of transportation for students to get to school each day, the data on yellow-bus service and student transit in NYC is often incomplete or not made widely available. With the information provided in this briefing and New York Appleseed's recommendations for greater transparency and accountability to students and families who rely on this resource, we hope to spur action by city leadership on this long-standing issue.
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  • LDF Assistant Counsel Cara McClellan is leaving LDF to join  the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School staff to be the founding Director and Associate Practice Professor of the Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic - the Law School’s newest in-house clinic. McClellan's work at the LDF included representing students and families in school desegregation cases, such as Sheff v. O’Neill. Learn more here. NCSD is y grateful for Cara's leadership during her tenure at LDF and excited to see her assume this new role.


  • NCSD founding member (UDC law professor) John Brittain was honored at an event at UConn Law School for his key role in formulating and prosecuting the landmark regional school integration case in Hartford, Sheff v. O’Neill, and his longtime tenure at the law school. Read more about the event here, and check out this tribute (A Civil Rights Hero is Honored) from The Century Foundation’s Richard Kahlenberg.

  • Why Aren’t States Innovating in Student Assessments? by Michelle Croft (Bellwether Education Partners, April 4) - "Given the current need for educators and parents to understand their student’s academic progress — especially amid an ongoing pandemic that has upended education and the systematic tracking of student achievement — comparability of test scores may outweigh the advantages of innovative end-of-year assessments. By focusing on comparability, states can better direct resources to the students and schools that need them most." 

ERASE Racism


NYU Metro Center

Othering & Belonging Institute
Public Advocates

5/31 - 6/4

Portland, Oregon

34th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education

National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education - Join us for five days of amazing conference sessions, networking, community outreach, and fun. Experience all things Portland while expanding your mind during NCORE sessions.

6/6 - 6/10

Springfield, MA

Professional SJTI

Social Justice Training Institute - This intensive five-day experience uses race caucus work, dialogue within and across groups, and exploration of in-the-moment situations as a forum for personal development, professional competency building, and transformational change. Sessions of Professional SJTI happen two times annually, in June on the East Coast and December on the West Coast.

6/19 - 6/22

Washington, DC

National Charter Schools Conference

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools - Where the movement meets as the largest national gathering of educators, advocates, and leaders in the charter community. It is where you connect with people, resources, and expertise that empowers and inspires your work. With nationally recognized experts, content curated specially for the sector, and a focus on collaboration, NCSC offers the best learning experience for those shaping K-12 education.

6/20 - 6/21

Baton Rouge, LA

National Civil Rights Conference 2022

Civil Rights Conference - The theme for the 2022 conference is Rise, Advocate, Educate, and Cooperate: Fusing Power and People.

6/28 - 6/30

Cedar City, UT

ARNA Annual Conference

Action Research Network of the Americas - Each year ARNA welcomes diverse participants from throughout the Americas, including people involved with action research, participatory action research, and practitioner research. A variety of presentation and sharing formats, as well as opportunities for networking and getting involved with global initiatives in action research, are a highlight of ARNA conferences.

Check out our conferences listing page, which is evolving given the COVID-19 crisis.
Please let us know of upcoming events, by emailing school-diversity@prrac.org.
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 * Southern Poverty Law Center * 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 * The Othering & Belonging Institute * 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 * IntegrateNYC * 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 * IntegratedSchools.org * 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 * The School Desegregation Notebook Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. * Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO) * Learn Together, Live Together * Beloved Community * Chicago United for Equity * Learning Policy Center * Public School Forum of North Carolina * The Bell North Carolina Justice Center * The Bridges Collaborative at The Century Foundation * South Side Early Learning * Oneonta For Equality * NestQuest * Metis Associates
Contact Us
 National Coalition on School Diversity
c/o Poverty and Race Research Action Council
Mailing Address: 740 15th St. NW #300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-544-5066
Prevent NCSD Updates from winding up in your junk/spam folder, be sure to add newsletter@school-diversity.org to your address book.