New Initiatives for Integrated Education in the Obama Era

June 9, 2009
New Initiatives for Integrated Education in the Obama Era: 
Reversing the Resegregation of the Past Two Decades

The Center for Civil Rights at UNC School of Law, the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA, the University of Georgia Education Policy and Evaluation Center, and The Forum for Education and Democracy co-convened a briefing on Capitol Hill on June 12th for policymakers and others committed to racially integrated public schools across the nation. 


Beth GlennThe introduction was provided by Forum Director of Policy and Outreach Beth Glenn



The briefing, moderated by Gary Orfield of the Civil Rights Project, drew on the expertise of nationally-acclaimed social scientists and lawyers, focusing on the immediate and long-term policy options available to promote racially integrated schools.  Mr. Orfield is Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was co-founder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and now serves as co-director of Civil Rights Project /Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.


Douglas ReadyDouglas D. Ready is an Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research examines the influence of policies and practices on educational equity and access. In particular, this work focuses on racial/ethnic and social class disparities in young children’s cognitive development.


Chinh LeChinh Q. Le is a Practitioner in Residence with the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University School of Law. His current work involves litigation, advocacy, and research on urban revitalization issues, with a focus on housing and education. 




HolmeJennifer Jellison Holme is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy and Planning in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin.  Holme currently leads an investigation of regional solutions to educational inequality, with a focus on the Omaha Learning Community reform and studies the implementation of high school exit testing in high-poverty high schools. 


DeBrayElizabeth DeBray-Pelot is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Lifelong Education Administration and Policy in the College of Education, and the Associate Director for Policy at the Georgia Education Policy and Evaluation Center at the University of Georgia.  Her interests include the implementation and effects of federal and state elementary and secondary school policies and the politics of education. 



Genevieve Siegel-Hawley is a doctoral student in Urban Schooling at the  University of California, Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research examines the impact of segregation and resegregation in American schools and explores viable policy options for a truly integrated society. 



Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. is the Associate Executive Director and General Counsel for the Alexandria, Va.-based National School Boards Association. Negrón formerly served as the general counsel for the State Education Office of the District of Columbia. 


The following papers were referenced:  
  • School Racial Composition and Young Children’s Cognitive Development: Isolating Family, Neighborhood and School Influences, Douglas D. Ready and Megan R. Silander, Teachers College, Columbia University; 
  • Is Class Working? An Update on Socioeconomic Student Assignment Plans in Wake County, NC and Cambridge, MA, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, University of California-Los Angeles; 
  • Using Regional Coalitions to Address Socioeconomic Isolation: The Creation of the Nebraska Learning Community Agreement, Jennifer Jellison Holme, Sarah Diem and Katherine Cumings Mansfield, University of Texas at Austin;
  • Federal Legislation to Promote Metropolitan Approaches to Educational and Housing Opportunities, Elizabeth DeBray-Pelot, University of Georgia, and Erica Frankenberg, University of California at Los Angeles; and,
  • Racially Integrated Education and the Role of the Federal Government, Chinh Q. Le, Seton Hall University.

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