Policy Brief: Model State School Integration Policies

As educators across the country make a valiant effort to meet the needs of their students in response to the coronavirus crisis, the educational impacts of disparities in family resources and school funding are apparent. The crisis also reminds us of the many roles that schools play beyond academics. When students eventually return to school, will we merely continue our current policies, or might we make some progress in developing a fairer public school system, including, potentially, a more integrated one? Our movement’s leading thinkers are pushing us to face this question squarely (more on that here).

State governments are in the best position to reverse the tide of increasing racial and socioeconomic segregation in our public schools if the political will is present. The federal government, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”), provides significant compensatory funding for lower-income schools in Title I. Related sections of ESSA can also provide funding incentives for school integration, as could Congress. But for the past few decades, Congress has been reluctant to impose any real accountability for integration on state and local governments. This leaves a very large policy vacuum for state governments to fill.

Our model state school integration policies represent small but meaningful steps that state legislatures can take to begin to bring students and communities back together. These policies would begin to provide greater flexibility and support for districts that understand the value of racial and socioeconomic integration, and greater accountability for segregation both within and across districts. They propose funding for a variety of voluntary integration efforts, put stronger limits on school district secession, require assessments of the segregation impacts of significant capital investments, and institute systems of measurement for school segregation-something only a handful of states currently require.

As we wait to reboot “live” K-12 education, we urge state policymakers to put education policies in place that embody the lessons the COVID-19 crisis implores us to confront- we are interdependent and our fates interconnected, but we still have a lot of work to do to actualize a just, inclusive society.

Check out this piece from the School Diversity Notebook summarizing the policy brief.

COVID-19 Resources

Member Pages

NYU Metro Center, Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Remote Learning

IntegrateNYC, COVID-19 Resources Page

The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), Learning Goes On – A COVID-19 Resource for Education (2020)

Learning Policy Institute, Learning in the Time of COVID-19 blog series (2020)

 

Resources and Links

Halley Potter and Joshua Starr, Analysis: Plans to Catch Students Up After School Shutdowns Risk Creating New Forms of Academic Tracking. This Will Do Them Even More Harm, The 74 (June 17, 2020)

Linda Darling-Hammond, A New “New Deal” For Education: Top 10 Policy Moves For States In The COVID 2.0 Era, Forbes (May 19, 2020)

Peter Piazza, Brown at 66: Looking past COVID with Milton Galamison, School Diversity Notebook (May 18, 2020)

Integrated Schools Podcast: COVID-19: Matt Gonzales on Equity (May 13, 2020)

Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Martha Stone, Dennis D. Parker, and Deuel Ross, The Coronavirus Crisis is Showing us How Regional Approaches Work; It’s Time to Apply Those Lessons to Urban Schools, Hartford Courant (May 11, 2020)

NYU Metro Center, Statement on Covid-19 – Slow Down to Move Forward  (May 2020)

NYC Advocates on Grading, Grading for Equity Letter  (Apr. 24, 2020)

Courtney E. Martin, The Lessons We Should Really Be Teaching Kids in the Pandemic, Vox (Apr. 22, 2020)

Integrated Schools, On COVID & Integration (Apr. 21, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, Are We Really “In This Together?“, The White Pages (Apr. 17, 2020)

powell, john, Opinion: Coronavirus is Not the ‘Great Equalizer’ Many Say It Is, East Bay Times (Apr. 16, 2020)

Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores, Neighborhood Inequities and COVID-19, diversitydatakids.org (Apr. 14, 2020)

Rothstein, Richard, The Coronavirus Will Explode Achievement Gaps in Education  Shelterforce (Apr. 13, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, When This is All Said and Done, We Can Have the Society of our Dreams or We Can Protect Whiteness, The White Pages (Apr. 7, 2020)

Conor P. Williams, How ‘Social Distancing’ Is Changing the Way We View Schools, Education Post (Apr. 1, 2020)

Integrated Schools (podcast), COVID-19: Teacher Check-in and COVID-19: Finding Community in Isolation

Kelly Bare, Seeing 2020: After COVID-19, let’s not go back to “normal”, Medium  (Mar. 23, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, What I Hope My (White, Economically Secure) Kids are Learning Right Now, The White Pages (Mar. 25, 2020)

#NCSD2020 Virtual Conference (5/12 & 5/14)

Unfortunately, we had to postpone the live version of our 2020 conference (which was scheduled for March 26th and 27th in Washington, DC) due to COVID-19. While we are still looking forward to hosting an in-person gathering when it becomes safe to do so, we’ll be offering some of our sessions virtually. Keep checking back, as we plan to add new sessions over the next few months.

 

ADVOCACY TRAINING – MAY 12th from 3:30-5:00PM EST

This workshop is designed to give you an overview of the federal legislative process and how you can engage in it. In particular, you will learn about NCSD’s policy priorities and how you can educate your federal representatives about these priorities. You will also learn about how to prepare for a meeting with elected officials and their staff, what to expect at the meeting, and what to do afterward. While this training is geared toward the federal system, the lessons learned can be applied at both the state and local level.

Stephen Cobb
Senior Associate, The Raben Group

As a senior associate at The Raben Group, Stephen Cobb brings years of experience in advocacy, public policy, political campaigns, and strategic communication to his clients.

Before joining Raben, Stephen was an associate at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he worked closely with senior leadership to help develop high-level institutional strategy and media relations plans. Prior to that Stephen held several positions on Capitol Hill and served as a political assistant at Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm.

Stephen received his master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C, and his bachelor’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from coastal Alabama, Stephen is passionate about immigration and climate change issues. He is also an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Sunil Mansukhani
Principal, The Raben Group

Sunil Mansukhani brings two decades of experience in education and civil rights policy, law, and advocacy from both the nonprofit sector and government. While at The Raben Group, Sunil’s clients have included Open Society Foundations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Child Trends, Communities in Schools, The University of Chicago, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Education Writers Association.

He served in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) over the course of three administrations, serving presidents of both parties. Prior to joining Raben, Sunil was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from 2009-2012. As part of OCR’s senior management team, Sunil helped lead an office of over 600 employees and a budget of $100 million, with 12 locations across the country. He led the development of OCR’s policy initiatives and data collection efforts.

While Sunil was at ED, OCR issued guidance that sought to protect the civil rights of tens of millions of students in areas such as the consideration of race in K-12 and college admissions; harassment and bullying; sexual violence; documentation requirements for enrollment in public schools; and equal access for students with disabilities. In addition, he oversaw the implementation of the widely-heralded Civil Rights Data Collection, a survey of all the public schools in the nation.

Sunil has also previously served as a Senior Attorney in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division; Executive Director of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission; an associate with the law firm Crowell and Moring; a law clerk for Chief Judge Edward Cahn in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a teaching fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation.

Sunil received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics, summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.M in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. He is most proud of helping to make his two young daughters diehard Chicago Cubs fans.

 

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION – MAY 14th from 2-3:30PM EST

NCSD’s keynote presentation was designed as a tribute to the late Courtney Mykytyn (founder and executive director of Integrated Schools, and NCSD steering committee member). Courtney was tragically killed in an automobile accident in December 2019.

The keynote presentation will be introduced by author and entrepreneur Courtney E. Martin. Courtney has authored/edited six books, including The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream and Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. She also co-founded the Solutions Journalism Network and FRESH Speakers Bureau. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre, and an honorary Ph.d. from Art Center of Design. She lives with her family in a co-housing community called Temescal Commons in Oakland. She is at a work on a new book about white parents and school integration. Subscribe to her newsletter and read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.

Vanessa Siddle Walker

Vanessa Siddle Walker is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American and Educational Studies at Emory University (B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.Ed Harvard University; Ed. D Harvard University). For 25 years, she has explored the segregated schooling of African American children, considering sequentially the climate that permeated segregated schools, the network of professional collaborations that explains the similarity across schools, and the hidden systems of advocacy that demanded equality and justice for the children in the schools. Her most recent book, published as The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools, was the winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award for 2019 and lauded as one of the Best Nonfiction Books for 2018 by Publisher’s Weekly. Walker is President of the American Educational Research Association for 2019-2020 and serves on the Research Advisory Panel for the National Coalition on School Diversity.

Dani McClain (Moderator)

Dani McClain reports on race and reproductive health. She is a contributing writer at The Nation and a fellow with Type Media Center. McClain’s writing has appeared in outlets including TIME, The Atlantic, Slate, Colorlines, EBONY.com, and The Rumpus. In 2018, she received a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Her work has been recognized by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. McClain was a staff reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has worked as a strategist with organizations including Color of Change and Drug Policy Alliance. McClain’s book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was published April 2019 by Bold Type Books.

Elizabeth McRae

Elizabeth Gillespie McRae is the Creighton Sossoman Professor of History at Western Carolina University and the co-founder of the Appalachian Oral History Project. Her teaching and research interests center on the intersection of race, gender, and politics in America and in the modern South.  She has published articles in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the BBC’s World Histories. Her book, Mothers of Massive Resistance published in 2018 examines white women’s work in maintaining white supremacy in public education, social welfare policy, politics, and culture. Her next project will examine the issue of “school choice,” in American history.

The keynote presentation will weave together information and concepts from the following books:

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org     Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org     Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org          

Note: A small portion of the proceeds from book sales via IndieBound (using links above) will help support the work of Integrated Schools, in memory of Courtney Everts Mykytyn. 

Andrew Lefkowits will offer brief reflections following the keynote presentation. Andrew is the host of the Integrated Schools Podcast – hard conversations about race, parenting, segregation, and inequities in our schools. He is also the co-chair of Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education, a group of parents and community members working to improve equity in the elementary schools in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, CO. He is a proud father to two girls – 6 and 9, who attend the same, integrating elementary school that he attended growing up. In his spare time, he has a “real” job working as an audio engineer mixing live concerts for bands all over the world.

Confirmed #NCSD2020 Supporters:**

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Education Solutions, Inc.
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Beloved Community
  • The Century Foundation
  • Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) at UCLA
  • EducationCounsel
  • EmpowerED
  • ERASE Racism
  • Fair Housing Justice Center
  • The Institute for Social Progress at Wayne County Community College District
  • Integrated Schools
  • IntegrateNYC
  • Kindred
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Learn Together, Live Together
  • Learning Policy Institute
  • Magnet Schools of America
  • Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO Inc.)
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • New York Appleseed
  • Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Public Advocacy for Kids
  • Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy
  • Thomas J. Dodd Research Center – University of Connecticut
  • Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC)
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

**NCSD’s federal policy work is paid for with unrestricted funds, not conference contributions.

Interested in sponsorship?

  • Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities here.
  • Email gchirichigno@prrac.org for more information

 

 

Policy Brief: Including Racial & SES Diversity in ESSA District Plans

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides an opening for states and local school districts to include racial and socioeconomic (SES) diversity as components of their improvement plans.

While only one state (New York) took advantage of this opportunity in the initial round of state ESSA plans, there are several ways that school districts can include integration and reduction of racial or SES isolation into their local ESSA implementation plans, consistent with the goals set out in their state plans.

Our newest policy brief, Including Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity in ESSA District Plans, explores some of the openings that are most apparent to the National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD). We hope that sharing these ideas will help state and local leaders and advocates generate even more ideas.

 

Fifth National Conference on School Integration (Postponed)

** NCSD2020 Postponement Notice **

NCSD2020 will not be held in March 2020, due to concerns and logistical challenges related to the coronavirus. We plan to reschedule the conference in Fall 2020. Please share your availability in September & October to help guide our selection of a new date. 

Join over 400 people from across the country to discuss and strengthen strategies for promoting racial and socioeconomic integration in elementary and secondary schools at our fifth national conference:

National Conference on School Integration
March 26-27th, 2020
JW Marriott
Washington, DC

Conference information:

NCSD’s national conference provides a space for parents, students, educators, researchers, advocates, activists, policymakers (from federal, state and local levels), and other supporters to coalesce around a shared commitment to integrated education. Attendees exchange best practices; discuss and generate tools and ideas aimed to introduce, enhance, or protect school diversity initiatives in their communities across the country; and build supportive relationships. It is the largest cross-sector school integration convening in the nation.

Based on feedback from our members and partners, our 2020 conference will continue to center youth voices and leadership; describe and embody the relationship between local, state, and national efforts; and provide space for collaboration and skill-building.

Confirmed Supporters:

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Education Solutions, Inc.
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Beloved Community
  • The Century Foundation
  • Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) at UCLA
  • EducationCounsel
  • EmpowerED
  • ERASE Racism
  • Fair Housing Justice Center
  • The Institute for Social Progress at Wayne County Community College District
  • Integrated Schools
  • IntegrateNYC
  • Kindred
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Learn Together, Live Together
  • Learning Policy Institute
  • Magnet Schools of America
  • Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO Inc.)
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • New York Appleseed
  • Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Public Advocacy for Kids
  • Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy
  • Thomas J. Dodd Research Center – University of Connecticut
  • Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC)
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Interested in sponsorship?

  • Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities here
  • Email gchirichigno@prrac.org for more information

Remembrance: Courtney Everts Mykytyn

Courtney at NCSD’s 2017 conference.

The National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD) joins others across the country in offering a heartfelt remembrance of our beloved Steering Committee Member, Courtney Everts Mykytyn. Courtney died on December 30, 2019 after being struck by a car near her home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. She was 46 years old.

In recent weeks, Courtney has been remembered by national and local news outlets, in the halls of Congress, by education advocates and scholars and, too, among our vast NCSD membership as an effective, creative, and intuitive advocate who urged white parents like herself to send their children to racially and culturally diverse public schools. Many of us at NCSD relied upon and admired Courtney for her insights and fortitude. Many of us also considered her a friend who was willing to challenge our thinking, engage in difficult conversations, and make us laugh. Courtney was warm, joyful, positive, and fiercely intelligent, truly one of a kind.

Through the nonprofit she founded in 2015, Integrated Schools, Courtney and her colleagues built community with other White parents inclined to reject higher-status homogeneous White institutions in favor of racially diverse schools. Courtney was dedicated to growing this grassroots movement “of, by, and for parents who are intentionally, joyfully, and humbly” enrolling their children in integrating schools. As important to Courtney as integrating schools, though, was the way in which White parents interacted with the institutions when they got there. Through a book club, a podcast, brokered one-on-one conversations and conference calls between parents, Courtney and her colleagues also directly addressed the historic tendency of White parents to take over leadership in majority Black and/or Latinx schools. Also problematic, Courtney believed, was a common “white savior” complex in which White parents view themselves as rescuers of the school as opposed to new partners in an established community.

Anna Lodder, a board member of Integrated Schools, recently told the New York Times that at least several hundred white parents had been influenced by the organization to place their children in predominantly Black and Latinx schools.

In a 2019 article for the Hollywood Reporter, Courtney wrote: “Choosing an integrating school is not so much a sacrifice as it is reprioritizing what matters in building a world we want our children to be adults in.”

Courtney and her husband Roman initially enrolled their two children in a dual-language program at their neighborhood school where instruction is offered in both English and Spanish, with the goal of all children becoming bilingual. She later enrolled them in their neighborhood schools through middle and high school, with just a small handful of white students.

“More than anyone else in L.A. over the past decade, Courtney moved parents from ‘I’d like to send my kid to my neighborhood school, but… .’ to ‘I am sending my kid to my neighborhood public school,’” Steve Zimmer, a former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District, told the Los Angeles Times.

On January 14, U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) offered condolences on the House floor:

“Courtney understood the consequences of segregation for children and our democracy.  She often spoke about how segregation undermines our core American ideals of fairness and equality and worked tireless to help fulfill the promise of Brown v. Board of Education,” Scott said. “Courtney emphasized that integrating schools was not about sacrifice, but instead about a commitment to strengthening our democracy and building a better society.  I hope advocates and families continue her legacy and commitment of fighting for school integration.  Further, I challenge this body to honor Courtney’s legacy in the months and years to come by taking the necessary actions to support and advance school integration.”

In addition to her husband Roman, Courtney is survived by her mother, J. Paulette Westfall, her son, Stephan, and daughter, Lulu, who are now teenagers; and her brother, Christof Ian Everts.

The National Coalition on School Diversity will formally honor Courtney’s legacy at its National Conference in March.

Reflections from NCSD Members:

  • Remembering Courtney Everts Mykytyn (Matt Gonzales, NYU Metro Center blog)
  • Courtney Everts Mykytyn: Forever in the fight (Peter Piazza, School Diversity Notebook)
  • “Courtney was so vital, both as a person and to the movement for school integration. Her voice and force is already missed.” — Professor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
  • “Courtney’s leadership in this movement helped sustain and push me, and I am missing her deeply.” — Gina Chirichigno, National Coalition on School Diversity
  • “I didn’t have an opportunity to experience Courtney and her work directly, but she and the work looked amazing. I was so looking forward to working with her on the steering committee.” — Elaine Gross, Erase Racism NY + NCSD Steering Committee Member
  • “I remain shocked and deeply saddened by Courtney’s passing, and I’m not sure that feeling will ever really go away. I think about her often in my work and life, trying to live up to the standards she set for critical self-reflection, sharp social commentary, and genuine warmth.” — Peter Piazza, School Diversity Notebook

Integrated Schools:

  • Tragedy strikes the Integrated Schools family (statement and subsequent podcast by Andrew Lefkowits)
  • Hellos and Goodbyes (Anna Loder, Integrated Schools blog)
  • My friend is dead, but don’t call her a hero (Courtney Martin, Integrated Schools blog)
  • If you would like to share a voice memo with Integrated Schools with your reflections about Courtney and her work, please email them to Andrew Lefkowits at hello@integratedschools.org.

Remembrances:

NCSD in the News: Steering Committee Member Matt Gonzales Profiled in Marin Independent Journal

New York advisers aid Marin City school desegregation effort
by Keri Brenner
December 29, 2019 (updated December 30, 2019)
Marin Independent Journal

“Two leaders in educational equity from New York City have joined the advisory group working on a desegregation plan for the Sausalito Marin City School District.

The consultants are Matt Gonzales, director of the Integration and Innovation Initiative at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and Zarith Pineda, founder of the independent organization Territorial Empathy. They met this month with the local advisory group formed to comply with the state attorney general’s settlement order in August to desegregate the district’s TK-8 school, Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City, within five years.

‘Our interest is really to help create some coherence between the unification work, the comprehensive plan that’s required by the AG’s office, as well as the local control accountability plan,’ Gonzales said during a visit in Marin City. ‘All of these things hopefully will fit and work together.’

The district also oversees a K-8 charter school, Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, which is intertwined with the desegregation plan and a parallel effort to unify the two schools. It has not been decided whether the unified school would be a traditional public school or a charter school.

‘Dr. Gonzales is a leader in desegregation efforts nationwide through his work as part of the National Coalition on School Desegregation [sic] as well as his work desegregating schools in New York City,’ Sausalito Marin City School District Superintendent Itoco Garcia said in a text message. ‘Zarith is an expert on urban planning and architecture and offers expertise in the areas of desegregation as it relates to housing, urban planning and school desegregation and has worked with Dr. Gonzales in NYC.'”

Matt Gonzales is a long-time NCSD member, and serves on NCSD’s steering committee.

SAVE THE DATE: March 26 - 27, 2020

#NCSD2020

Save the date: March 26 – 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

We’re in conference planning mode, and collecting ideas about speakers and themes.

For inquiries please email conferenceNCSD@gmail.com.

Donate

You can contribute to the National Coalition on School Diversity’s work through the Poverty and Race Research Action Council.

Donate via Paypal or credit/debit card using the button below:


Or, send your check or money order made out to PRRAC to:

National Coalition on School Diversity
c/o Poverty & Race Research Action Council
740 15th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20005

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 and economic isolation in elementary and secondary schools. 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.

Epic Theatre Ensemble Performance (11/4/19 - Baltimore, MD)

Monday, November 4, 6-7pm
MICA Center for Social Design
131 W. North Avenue, Room 171

“Nothing About Us” is a rigorous, passionate and hilarious exploration of educational segregation written and performed by those most affected and least consulted: NYC Public High School students. What does separate but equal mean to us today? Transformation, empathy, and youth voice drive the conversation in this thirty-minute touring play.

https://www.epictheatreensemble.org/