JULY 2020 UPDATES                                Like us on Facebook View our videos on YouTube Follow us on Twitter
Supporters: kindly consider a donation to NCSD this month, to help us sustain our advocacy efforts.

new report from the Beyond Test Scores Project and the Center for Education and Civil Rights looks at trends in Massachusetts related to diverse schools as well as racially isolated ones. Authored by Jack Schneider, Ashley J. Carey, Peter Piazza, and Rachel S. White. Check out coverage from Boston's NPR station here.

The pandemic, and the related economic and societal crisis, continue with no end in sight. The critical interplay between PK-12 schooling and our economy--and the many roles schools play beyond academics--has been made very plain in 2020.  Parents, caretakers, and educators across the country are bearing the brunt of this uncertainty, as they try to put "back to school" plans in place.

Disparities in access to resources to facilitate remote learning at the beginning of the pandemic were well-documented, and fell heavily along racial and class lines, exacerbating existing inequities.  Our choices over the next weeks and months--both individually and through policy, practice, and resource allocation--have the potential to exacerbate or reduce disparities.  We call on all those who are eager to show their support for racial justice to take concrete steps to support an equitable return to school in their local communities. 

Over the last few weeks, the concept of "pods" in relation to primary education and childcare has emerged. Pandemic pods, or  home-schooling pods, are when families pool resources, financial and social, to facilitate childcare and educational instruction, sometimes by a hired educator or through the combined efforts of family members.

Here we highlight some of the perspectives shared about podding through our network:
"Another valid concern is that the microschool model - particularly if financially supported by pro-voucher legislation like the bill introduced in the Senate last week - will mean families don't return to public schools.
 by Gail Cornwall 
( Good Housekeeping , July 28) 
"We face collective and structural problems. We need collective, structural solutions." Equity in Pandemic Schooling: An Action Guide for Families, Educators & Communities
by Erica O. Turner et. al
"The issue of inequity is what the following post is all about: how these new pandemic education pods replicate white flight." The Huge Problem with Education 'Pandemic Pods' Suddenly Popping Up
by J.P.B. Gerald and Mira Debs
(Washington Post, July 22)
"So important for us not to conflate race and class and use the former as a proxy for the latter. Many middle and upper class families of color, like mine, are also looking for educational alternatives for our children this fall. I'm looking at 'hubs' and 'pods,' too."
Prudence Carter - Twitter Thread 
"This could really usher in the end of a public education system."
--Jennifer Berkshire
Pandemic Pods are Inequitable and Inevitable - and a Dream Come True for the School Choice Movement
by Juliana Kapan
(Business Insider, July 26)
"Who is present in these spaces? Who is missing? Who benefits? Who is excluded? How does this elevate and support antiracism? Integration? Public education? What narratives do pods reinforce about public education?"
--Alison Collins

Find Alison Collins's related twitter posts
Podcast: Parents Turning to Tutors, "Pandemic Pods" to Help with Remote Learning
KQED's Forum featuring: Janelle Scott (UC Berkeley); Sara Hossaini (KQED Radio); Roman Slavinsky (A+ Tutoring); Alison Collins (San Francisco BOE); Lauren Holman (Sage Oak Charter Schools)

"Whatever parents ultimately decide, they must understand that every choice they make in their child's education, even the seemingly benign, has the potential to perpetuate racial inequities rooted in white supremacy."
Opinion: The Latest in School Segregation: Private Pandemic "Pods" 
by Clara Totenberg Green
(New York Times, July 22) 
"We must do CONSCIOUS WORK to disrupt that pattern of thinking. What's best for our community IS what's best for our kids. When we slow down and move with thought and care, it will be more likely that our impact will match our values." 
On COVID-19 and Micro-schooling, Pods, and More
(Integrated Schools, July 22)

Join the "slow down" conversation on social media
"And so we're sitting with that and imagining what it looks like to really believe that ourselves and other white people can become less addicted to white supremacy." 
Frienemies of the Pods
by Courtney Martin (July 22)
"If you do nothing else in your efforts to pod more justly, stay enrolled in public school. The biggest social justice risk we face as a result of this pandemic is the destruction of the public education system in the United States."
If "Most Students Should Stay Home," What Do I Do with My Kids?
by Shayla R. Griffin
(Medium, July 23) 

 More thoughts about back to school...

Major policy developments in the fight for educational equity:
  • The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force included language in their recommendations calling for a redoubling of educational equity efforts. Read more here.

Thank you to everyone who joined our #ThurgoodWasRight Twitter Chat this week. It's not too late to join in! 

Let's keep the conversation going. Tweet your answers to the questions above (clickable links) using the hashtag #ThurgoodWasRight.

July 25th Marked the 46th Anniversary of Milliken v. Bradley

Milliken was one of the early cases that forced the Supreme Court to grapple with the meaning and application of Brown v. Board of Education outside of the Southern U.S. The Court struck down a metropolitan-wide desegregation plan ordered by lower courts to remedy segregation in Detroit Public Schools.  The Milliken decision cemented the popular myth of "de facto" segregation: the idea that segregation comes from individual/private choices & not government policy/law. 

Justice Thurgood Marshall famously  dissented i n the case, 

"Our Nation, I fear, will be ill-served by the Court's refusal to remedy separate and unequal education, for unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together."


Applications close on Aug. 5 for Harvard RIDES intensive clinic, "Taking Action for Equity Improvement for the Coming School Year" from Aug. 18 - 20

In the wake of the structural and systemic racism revealed in the COVID pandemic and the recent and continued police killings, more and more schools, districts, and charter management organizations are eager to dismantle the racism in their own institutions, Harvard RIDES is offering a free intensive clinic.



Join Beloved Community's Equity Research Project 

Beloved Community is currently recruiting intentionally-diverse schools to participate in their Equity Research Project to gather evidence of the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in their schools. 



As an affiliated partner of IntegrateNYC, the Peer Defenders initiative will recruit, develop, and employ system-involved youth that have been forcibly removed from school communities. Peer Defenders  wants to change how students experience the power of government for the future of our democracy.

Use   this form to i nquire about  board recruitment and volunteer opportunities.



The "Segregation is Killing Us" dashboard is a mapping and data analysis project from IntegrateNYC and Territorial Empathy mapping the destructive path of COVID-19 on New York City, and a solution designed by  NYC students.

View the dashboard here and learn how you can further educational equity in NYC public schools.

"Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself."

Our present national discourse, sparked by the recent police killings of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and George Floyd, on top of untold multitudes who similarly suffered before them, has placed focus on how our current institutions have been shaped to preserve and further structural racism and inequity. 

All of us must continue to grapple with these issues and cope with the stunning daily endorsements of inequity, while engaging in direct action in our own way. 

Allies will find space in movements against racial inequity--an inequity that evinces itself every day in brutal and dream-destroying ways--but they must make room and protect the voices and bodies of those who are chosen by the fight, rather than choose to fight.

This month we'd like to highlight recently-released research and reporting on how inequitable funding and access to opportunity in education drive racial segregation and inequity:
  • Rebecca Sibila, founder of EdBuild, discusses alternative funding models to address the approximately $23 billion a year funding gap between predominantly white school districts and global-majority school districts with NPR's All Things Considered podcast.

"It's easy enough to say that we need John Lewis more than ever. It's harder, I think, to say that we must be John Lewis, and that this is achievable for you or I. That John Lewis's courage is not an excuse for lacking our own."

-- George Chidi,  reflecting on the bipartisan, non-ideological mourning of C.T. Vivian, "a towering intellectual fig ure in the civil rights" and the "determinately human" John Lewis

Testimony for African American Studies 2019

Via the Intercultural Development Resource Association (IDRA), students successfully advocating for an African American Studies elective at a November 2019 Texas State Board of Education hearing.

OK Boomer: Desegregating New York City's Schools

OK Boomer, a documentary film directed by Amrit Cheng and premiering on Teen Vogue, follows Teens Take Charge in NYC activists and best friends Alex and Marcus as they lead a movement to integrate the city's high schools. Read more via Teen Vogue.

Leveraging the Interpersonal for Social Change: 6/10 Workshop w Dr Michael Baran & Kara Murray Badal

 Leveraging the Interpersonal for Social Change Workshop with Dr. Michael Baran & Kara Murray Badal (co-author of Subtle Acts of Exclusion), by the Mosaic Project

METCO B.E.A.T. - Boston Educational Activism Tour

In this virtual walking tour of Bostoneight students from the METCO program guide you through decades of untold history, introducing you to brave organizers who envisioned a better world.

The Integrated Schools Movement: Where We Begin

Integrated Schools hosted its first webinar, "Where We Begin." They also released the Awkward Conversations Guide, which is designed to help parents transform the toxic schools narrative, one playground encounter at a time.

Can Enrollment Preferences Increase Equity in D.C. Schools?

Can Enrollment Preferences Increase Equity in D.C. Schools? The Century Foundation and D.C. Policy Center discuss new research on the implications of implementing an at-risk preference for students in D.C.'s school lottery.

 The Bridges Collaborative:
  • The Bridges Collaborative is seeking 50 school districts, charter schools/CMOs, and housing organizations dedicated to addressing school and neighborhood integration in their own communities to join a two-year program for 2-5 members from each organization.

Closing America's Education Funding Gaps (July 2020) - The first-of-its-kind study estimates the investments needed to provide every child in the country with a fair shot at succeeding in school. It features comprehensive new data at the national, state, and district level, including two interactive maps allowing users to identify what funding gaps, if any, exist for every school district in the country (more than 13,000 in total). 

An Anti-Racist Agenda for State and Local Education Agencies - "The ongoing demands for racial justice force all of us to reflect and reshape our ways of thinking, speaking, and acting so as to stop perpetuating racial injustice...[O]ur intention here is to provide a few thoughts based on our experience in advocating for educational equity and school integration."

NEWLY AVAILABLE: Serial Productions and the New York Times Presents new podcast series "Nice White Parents"

The podcast looks at how white parents have been are often drivers in the perpetuation of segregation in our educational system.

Sure to be listened to widely since it is coming from the producers of Serial , it will likely be on the minds of many white parents as they think about this issue in the coming months.  

You can find more information and the first two episodes here.


Training: What Can We Do? White Allies Responding to Racial Injustice

This session is an invitation to learn more about how racism is not the exception, or limited to individual discrimination, but actually built into the structure and practices of nonprofit work and social/human service. We'll look at trends and patterns, with a few examples, and provide lots of time for small group discussion with colleagues from across the city. August 4 from 3:30-5PM CDT.

  • Alexandria, VA -  At a Top Magnet School with Few Black or Latino Students, a Push for Change Meets Resistance:"'I think TJ can be a model for change, precisely because of its reputation as the number one public school in the U.S.,' said Ruth Metzel, a white alumna, Class of 2006, who is helping with the efforts. 'It could and should reflect a vision for the future of the county.'" Read more via the Washington Post.
  • Austin, TX - Schools In Travis County Are Not Just Segregated. They're The Most Segregated In The State: "I think white people in this town have been giving ourselves a pass for generations. We've been saying we're a progressive city and not looking in the mirror at what our actions are, how they're playing out." Read more via KUT 90.5, Austin's NPR Station.
  • San Antonio, TX - San Antonio School Districts Still Struggle with the City's Segregated Past"I do believe the history of how the city's been drawn really contributed to how San Antonio became so segregated and how that affected our education. Because, how is it that Alamo Heights just happens to be the best school district but also the wealthiest?" Read more via San Antonio Express News.
  • Cleveland, OH - Alarming White Opt-Out Rates Have Left Eastside Suburban Schools Segregated at Levels Not Seen Since the 1960s: "What mechanisms, besides a fear of racial threat, drives white, wealthier families to spend tens of thousands of dollars in private education? State-wide policy efforts that further fuel existing inequities." Read more via the Cleveland Scene.
  • Forward Through Ferguson, a nonprofit working to advance racially equitable systems and polices in the St. Louis, MO region, released an interactive map of the Digital Delmar Divide -  "[A] notorious relic of segregation that continues to reinforce racial and socioeconomic separation...It marks a digital divide between students who have internet access they need to stay engaged in learning from home and those who don't." Check it out here.
  • In June, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors unanimously passed a resolution calling on community activists, elected officials, and other stakeholders to "develop a regional plan to reduce school inequities and promote school desegregation throughout Metropolitan Milwaukee."  Coordinated efforts and planning  will begin immediately. Read more via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Minneapolis had Progressive Policies, but its Economy Still Left Black Families Behind "If you allow segregation to get worse, inequality is going to get worse." Read more via the Washington Post.
  • "We are witnessing the rejection of a style of politics that has been more willing to delay on behalf of a prejudiced few than to push ahead for everyone else. In Montgomery County, [MD,]  there is no greater example of that approach's insufficiency than the enduring segregation of our schools." Read more via the Washington Post Local Opinions.
  • N.J. District Accused of Segregation Settles Lawsuit, Will Integrate Under Eye of Federal Monitor"What we achieved in the South Orange-Maplewood School District is a template for school districts across the nation, in urban and suburban communities..." Read more via NJ.com.
  • New York Appleseed updated their  Within Our Reach briefing  on segregation in elementary schools, and developed an infographic,  We Say Because We Know , to help advocates in conversations around NYC's screened admissions process. NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation also released recommendations  for a fall reopening of schools that centers equity.
The Century Foundation
City Garden Montessori
Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP)
Class Action
ERASE Racism
Learning Policy Institute

    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 * Family and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children * The School Desegregation Notebook * Temperament, Affect, and Behavior in Schools (TABS) Lab * Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc. * Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO) * Learn Together, Live Together * Beloved CommunityChicago United for Equity * Learning Policy Center * Public School Forum of North Carolina * The Bell North Carolina Justice Center  * 

Contact Us
  National Coalition on School Diversity
c/o Poverty and Race Research Action Council
Website: school-diversity.org
Email: school-diversity@prrac.org
Mailing Address: 740 15th St. NW #300 Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-544-5066 
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