SEPTEMBER 2019 UPDATES  Like us on Facebook View our videos on YouTube Follow us on Twitter
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Educational Opportunity Project

"'There's a common argument these days that maybe we should stop worrying about segregation and just create high-quality schools everywhere,' said Reardon. 'This study shows that it doesn't seem to be possible.'" 

--Jill Barshay
Hechinger Report

Our Key Takeaways:
  • It is clear that the ideal paradigm for our nation's primary and secondary public educational system--if we truly intend to reduce inequality and promote achievement for all students--is one that prioritizes the integration of our schools.
  • There is no evidence that closing opportunity and outcome gaps across an entire system under the principle of "separate but equal" is possible. Segregation stratifies educational opportunity. Thus, failing to address segregation is likely to perpetuate system-wide inequalities.
  • Concentrated poverty in schools is harmful, and it disproportionately affects students of color. Under the current system, the separation/segregation of students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds will almost necessarily mean that students of color will be disproportionately concentrated into high-poverty schools.

Last week, Research Advisory Panel member Sean Reardon and his team released the  Opportunity Explorer a powerful new tool that makes test scores for every U.S. public school available to the public, and includes the capability to compare test scores across schools, districts, and even states. The tool makes it easier to understand how much students are learning over time. The tool's ability to suss out learning rates at individual schools has the potential to be an important source of critical data for parents, researchers, and policymakers. 

Using test score data from 50 million students, researchers estimated the effects of present-day school segregation on racial achievement gaps, an initial research paper released by the project   concludes that "racial segregation appears to be harmful because it concentrates minority students in high-poverty schools, which are, on average, less effective than lower-poverty schools."

Importantly, researchers add that "while there are examples of highly effective high-poverty schools, it is not clear we know how to do so systematically in the context of high levels of segregation."
 Rucker Johnson speaking at the Center for Education Policy Research.
On Sept. 24, Research Advisory Panel member Rucker Johnson spoke at Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research about his new book, Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works.


Worsening School Segregation for Latino Children by Bruce Fuller, Yoonjeon Kim, Claudia Galindo, Shruti Bathia, Margaret Bridges, Greg J. Duncan, and Isabel Garcia Valdivia

An article in the latest edition of AERA's Educational Researcher from researchers at UC Berkeley discusses how the growing share of low-income Latinx students necessitates a change in how the field thinks about how to best further school integration and racial equity.

For more information, check out a related opinion piece in The Mercury News. 

In this report, Urban Institute researchers present their "Segregation Contribution Index." 

The Index "assesses how much each school within a system-whether a district, county, or city-contributes to segregation by examining what would happen to segregation within the system if a school's actual racial composition were perfectly integrated-that is, replaced with a composition corresponding to that of the school system."

In AERA Open, researchers merge together several data sets to review how changes to school district boundaries in the context of school secession has increased school and residential segregation in Southern counties since 2000. 

Read the press release here, and check out the coverage of the study from The Associated Press, Education Week, HuffPost, and Vox.
  • The American Journal of Education Forum has continued its Brown@65 series this month with four new pieces reflecting on state of school integration and the work ahead of us. The series is tied to Penn State University Center for Education and Civil Rights and Africana Research Center's Brown 65th anniversary event on May 10th.
  • The  New Haven Independent reporter Christopher Peak  delves into why and how the state government responds to seemingly similar cases of racial segregation in dramatically different fashions by looking at two racially segregated schools in Connecticut.
  • "'This is the new America - suburban communities that are racially mixed but exhibit patterns of racist behavior and systems,' said Walter Fields, the leader of a local advocacy group." - The community of Maplewood, NJ is featured in The New York Times article: A Suburb Believed in Liberal Ideals. Then Came a New Busing Plan.
  • Howard County, MD--a community founded on the ideal of racial integration--finds "convictions are being tested by a proposal that seeks to redistribute some 7,400 of the school system's 58,000 children to different schools - in part to address socioeconomic segregation that leaves children from poor families concentrated in certain schools." Read about the proposal and the community's response, and see the editorial from The Baltimore Sun.
  • Five years after the Arkansas state government took away local control of public school in Little Rock, the state now "plan[s] to relinquish only partial control of the city's schools." Residents argue "the plan to do so would effectively catapult Little Rock back into an era of school segregation by establishing separate governing structures for majority white schools and majority black schools."  Read the article from Laura Camera of US News.

Washington, D.C.

New York City G&T: The Problem We All Live With
New York City G&T: The Problem We All Live With (Matt Gonzales, SDAG)

"With All Deliberate Speed": Reimagining Integration from a Racial Equity Frame ( VUE / NYU -The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools)

Excerpt from the Editor's introduction:
"In all, this issue of VUE responds to a kind of new new Jim Crow, which is really a continuation of old patterns of racial hierarchy and social subordination in the U.S. The response we feature here has been curated in a way that deals with the current moment, responding to this iteration of segregation by calling for a broader collective of voices, a reimagining of terms, and a texturing of players." 

Student Activism


We want to congratulate  Matt Gonzales, formerly of NY Appleseed, for his new role as founder/director of the Integration Innovation Initiative at the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.  Nyah Berg, formerly of ERASE Racism, has taken over for him as the director of the schools integration project at NYAppleseed. Read more here from the joint press release from ERASE Racism, NY Appleseed and the NYU Metro Center.

Furthering Integration and Equity

The public debate in NYC continues around proposals from the mayor's Student Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) to meaningfully further school integration and promote equity in schools. Most recently, SDAG offered  a proposal to dramatically rethink the paradigm around "gifted and talented" educational opportunities in NYC's public schools. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our collection of recommendations:

Perspectives from SDAG Members:

"Undermining fair housing policies also threatens to deepen segregation in education. Because state and local policies often require students to attend schools where they live, these forms of segregation are interwoven and mutually reinforcing. School policy is housing policy, and vice versa. People who have the ability to choose won't send their children to schools where they will be isolated. All parents and caregivers want schools where their children will feel welcomed and valued. This is just as true, of course, for African American and Latinx families as it is for white families." 

October 18th is the deadline to submit a public comment to HUD in opposition to their effort to gut the longstanding legal tool known as "disparate impact" under the Fair Housing Act.  According to civil rights advocates, the proposed rule would allow financial institutions, insurance companies, and housing providers to escape accountability for engaging in practices that result in discrimination against protected classes.
November 18-20, 2019
Cambridge, MA

Expand your organization's ability to achieve its vision around diversity, equity, and integration at Reimagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools (RIDES), a professional development institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The program consists of three in-person days (November 18-20) and continues with six months of virtual follow-up webinars and personalized coaching. 

In this program you will u tilize tools, processes,  assessments to help teams gain a deeper understanding of how equitable practice can work in individual school communities, cultivate the ability of  participating teams to reflect on equity and diversity, as well as collectively experience the power of transformative moments around race and inclusion, demonstrate one cycle of data-driven improvement by the program's conclusion, tailored to the goals of individual teams.


The Southern Poverty Law Center ,preparation for its 50th anniversary (in 2021), has released a request for proposals for qualified vendors to assist them with an organizational re-visioning.

The proposals are due October 4. 
American Youth Policy Forum
The Century Foundation
City Garden Montessori
The Education Trust
ERASE Racism
T he Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund
Learning Policy Institute
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

S an Francisco Public Schools

Urban Institute
Southern Education Foundation
Southern Poverty Law Center

Host: IntegrateNYC
New York City, NY
Host: Public Schools First in NC
Raleigh, NC
Host: EmpowerEd
Washington, DC
Host: Learning Policy Institute
Washington, DC
Host: American Education Research Association
Washington, DC
Host: The Public School Forum of North Carolina, The Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and Policy Bridge at Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy
Raleigh, NC
Host: Magnet Schools of America
Albuquerque, NM
Check out our  2019 conference listing
Please let us know of upcoming events, by emailing
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  * 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  * 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 * *  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

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