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Segregating California's Future: Inequality and Its Alternative, 60 Years after Brown v. Board of Education

May 13, 2014

California has had serious issues of separation and discrimination in its schools since it became a state. It was little affected by the Brown decision, which was directed primarily at the 17 states that had laws mandating the segregation of African Americans. Although the California Supreme Court recognized a broad desegregation right in the state constitution, and the legislature briefly mandated that school boards take action to enforce this right, both were reversed by voter-approved propositions. The 1979 Proposition One led to the termination of the city's desegregation plan -- the first major city in the U.S. to end its plan. U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the 1990s led eventually to the termination of the federal desegregation orders in San Francisco and San Jose. Major court decisions in California mandating desegregation that occurred in the 1970s were overturned by the 1990s, thus California presently has no school integration policy. Segregation has grown substantially in the past two decades, especially for Latinos. White students' contact with nonwhite and poor students has increased significantly because of the dramatic change in overall population. Black and Latino students are strongly concentrated in schools that have far lower quality, according to state Academic Performance Index (API) ratings. Conversely, a far larger share of whites and Asians attend the most highly related schools and thus are the most prepared for college. A half-century of desegregation research shows the major costs of segregation and the variety of benefits of schools that are attended by all races.

Disturbing Inequities: Exploring the Relationship Between Racial Disparities in Special Education Identification and Discipline

January 1, 2014

This study examines whether exposure to novice teachers and risk for identification for special education predicated suspension rates. Identification as having emotional disturbance and specific learning disabilities were found to predict an increase in suspension rates for Black male students. The report's findings draw from 72,168 schools in nearly 7,000 school districts from nearly every state.

Making Education Work For Latinas in the U.S.

December 1, 2013

This study examines the existing knowledge base about promoting Latina educational success, defined as completing high school and then going on to secure a college degree. It also adds to existing research by examining two large data sets - one national, and one California-based for predictors of successful educational outcomes for representative samples of Latina youth who have recently been in high school and college. Finally, after identifying important predictors of success from the existing literature, and the examination of current data, the study incorporates case studies of seven young Latinas who illustrate pathways of women who are finding their way to educational success through high school, community college, and four year universities. Their stories provide a deeper understanding of the challenges that young Latinas encounter in our culture, as well as the promise they represent.