PRRAC strongly supports federal, state and local efforts to increase racial and economic integration in K-12 education. We do this work primarily with and through the National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD), which we helped to found in 2009 along with former staff from the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School, and leadership of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU. Members of the NCSD Steering Committee include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, PRRAC, ACLU, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, MALDEF, AALDEF, Kirwan Institute, NY Appleseed, UNC Center for Civil Rights, and the UCLA Civil Rights Project, along with a small group of prominent legal scholars. Since 2009, PRRAC has served as the primary staff and fiscal agent for the NCSD, with active support from many of the NCSD member organizations for specific advocacy campaigns, and volunteer contributions by members of the NCSD Research Advisory Panel.
School Diversity Conferences
The NCSD hosts a biannual conference that brings together engaged practitioners, academics, activists, and youth to build relationships, formulate strategies, and celebrate school diversity.
- “A Struggle We Must Win: Advancing School Integration through Activism, Youth Voice, and Policy Reform” (agenda from the 2017 conference, held at Teachers College, Columbia University)
- “21st Century School Integration: Building the Movement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (special issue of Poverty & Race, based on workshops at the 2015 conferences, held at Howard Law School).
2016 NCSD Highlights
- NCSD Issue Brief 6: Prioritizing School Integration in ESSA State Implementation Plans (May 2016)
- PRRAC Testimony to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: “The nexus between school funding, school segregation, and housing” (May 2016)
- Comments on Proposed Rule for Equity/Desegregation Assistance Centers (April 2016)
- NCSD Comments on Socioeconomic Diversity as a School Turnaround Strategy (April 2016)
- Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee in support of “Stronger Together” school integration funding proposal (April 2016)
Selected Achievements of the NCSD
During the last several years of the Obama Administration, advocacy by NCSD and its members helped to facilitate several advances in school diversity policy:
- The Department of Education has highlighted increased school diversity as a school turnaround strategy in the School Improvement Grants program for the past two funding cycles
- The Department included an absolute priority for school diversity in this year’s Investing in Innovation program grants.
- Charter Schools Program grants have included a competitive priority focused on increasing on student diversity over the past several funding cycles
- In June 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education announced proposed revisions for the Head Start Performance Standards, which included for the first time support for socioeconomic diversity
- In 2015, the preschool development grants program added a priority for school diversity
- In 2016, the Obama Administration included a new “Stronger Together” school diversity competitive funding grant in its 2017 budget proposal, and a significant increase in magnet school funding
- Jennifer Miyake-Trapp, Ed.D, “Changing the Perception of Pasadena Unified School District Through an Innovative Realtor Outreach Program” (PRRAC and the NCSD, March 2018)
- Philip Tegeler and Michael Hilton, “Disrupting the Reciprocal Relationship between Housing and School Segregation” (Joint Center for Housing Studies, November 2017)
- A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education (PRRAC and the Century Foundation, April 2015)
- “The ‘Compelling Government Interest’ in School Diversity: Rebuilding the Case for an Affirmative Government Role,” by Philip Tegeler, 47 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 1021 (Summer 2014)
- Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools?(November 2012), by Ingrid Gould Ellen and Keren Mertens Horn
- Diverse Charter Schools by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter (PRRAC and the Century Foundation May 2012)
- Finding Common Ground: Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration(October 2011)
For more information, please go to the NCSD website at www.school-diversity.org