The Integration Report, issue 12

July 9, 2008

June 28th marked the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s voluntary integration decision. The controlling opinion in the Seattle/Louisville ruling recognized a compelling interest in avoiding the harms of racial isolation, yet limited the student assignment options available to districts interested in ensuring student body diversity (for a more in-depth discussion of the anniversary of the Seattle/Louisville decision, please see http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/policy/court/voltint-anniversary.php). This issue of TIR will spotlight a different judicial ruling in the Sheff v. O’Neill case, a state court decision first handed down by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1996. An important follow up agreement regarding the implementation of desegregation efforts was released in April of this year.

The Sheff case represents a pioneering effort to deal with metropolitan segregation. It produced a state Supreme Court decision holding that a system of fragmented school districts superimposed on rigid residential segregation violated the Connecticut constitution. Though the courts in both Seattle/Louisville and Sheff v. O’Neill acknowledged the harms of racial isolation for students, the Connecticut judges found that the state had an affirmative duty under the state constitution to provide an effective remedy to segregation.1 The Sheff v. O’Neill case has been defined by fairly weak integration policies hammered out and only partially implemented during a legal battle spanning a dozen years since the initial state Supreme Court found Connecticut’s schools to be in violation of their own constitution. Given its drawn out and contentious history, the case illustrates some of the challenges associated with producing successful judicial responses to current issues of segregation.2 Importantly, over the course of the lawsuit, the Connecticut courts have encouraged voluntary desegregation agreements and have not imposed a remedy on state and local school authorities.

Milo Sheff was eight years old when civil rights attorneys named then Governor William O’Neill as one of the defendant’s in a 1989 case deliberately designed to help counteract the lines dividing opportunities between urban and suburban school districts.3 The case relied on massive evidence of metropolitan segregation in the Hartford area, where one of the nation’s most impoverished central cities is surrounded by wealthier and often whiter suburban communities. For example, when Sheff was first filed in 1989, Hartford was 92% minority while 16 of the 21 surrounding suburbs had nonwhite populations comprising less than 10% of the total county populace.4 In 2006, the minority population in many of the city’s neighboring suburbs had somewhat increased – mirroring national trends5 – but still remained far below Hartford’s 94% nonwhite figure.6

The Sheff case was built around a violation of state law decreeing that Connecticut’s students had a fundamental right to an education, language found in several state constitutions but notably missing from our national Constitution.7 Connecticut’s Constitution also prohibits de facto segregation, a fact that the civil rights lawyers sought to use to their advantage. Other legal strategies employed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys included an emphasis on social science research documenting the harms of segregation and the academic and social gains that flow from racially integrated settings.8

There were nineteen plaintiffs in Sheff v. O’Neill, primarily composed of black and Latino families from segregated Hartford schools, but they also included several white families from the outlying suburbs. The white plaintiffs were a reminder that segregation also harms white children attending isolated schools, as they are also denied an opportunity to learn to live and work in a racially diverse society.9 The lead spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, Milo’s mother Elizabeth Horton Sheff, was a community activist raised in an integrated housing project in Hartford. Ms. Horton Sheff served several terms on the Hartford City Council and strongly believed in the value of racially diverse children learning together.10

Despite an initial setback in the trial court, the lawyers and plaintiffs quickly appealed the case, and in 1996, the State Supreme Court handed down a decision with the following language:

“In the context of public education. . . in which the state has an affirmative obligation. . . to equalize educational opportunity, the state’s awareness of. . . racial and ethnic isolation imposes upon the state the responsibility to remedy segregation. . . because of race. . .”
from Sheff v. O’Neill, 238 Conn. 1, 29 (1996)11

The Supreme Court’s holding regarding the state’s affirmative obligation to equalize education opportunity is particularly notable given the Court’s finding that the state had not intentionally segregated racial or ethnic minorities in the public school system.12 Despite this, the Court found that “the state has nonetheless played a significant role in the present concentration of racial and ethnic minorities” and should be required to fashion a legislative remedy to the constitutional violation.13

While representing an important milestone in the case, the ’96 ruling did not lead to immediate action for Hartford schoolchildren. Instead, the justices left the matter of determining the actual remedy to the state’s executive and legislative branches, urging them to act quickly to ensure that Hartford’s students were given swift access to equal educational opportunities.14 In 1997, the legislature responded with a very modest regional magnet school and voluntary transfer plan, along with some funding for early education.15 Six years later, challenged by the plaintiffs and back in court, the State of Connecticut began taking stock of the existing attempts to combat segregation in the form of interdistrict magnet schools and open choice. The evidence presented to the court in 2002 suggested that widespread and steady demand from Hartford residents meant long waiting lists for spaces at suburban schools under the Open Choice program and for oversubscribed interdistrict magnet schools.16 This time, the plaintiffs offered their own vision of a desegregation plan, one that would greatly expand the current remedies to accommodate the needs of Hartford’s segregated students.

Nearly one year after the second round of court proceedings in the Sheff case got underway, the plaintiffs and defendants came together to design a 2003 interim settlement that made huge headlines in the local paper: “Sheff v. O’Neill case settled.”17 In essence, the state agreed to specific benchmarks to increase capacity at the magnet schools and in the choice program, with an overarching goal of ensuring that at least 30% of Hartford’s students would be placed in desegregated school settings by 2007.18 As early as August 2004, the Sheff plaintiffs suspected that the State was not on track to meet the 2007 goals, and returned to Court arguing that the 2003 interim settlement had been breached. The State, however, argued that it had complied with the settlement terms and would meet the 2007 requirements.

In the ensuing time period, the Sheff Movement, a community based coalition formed to expand and strengthen the options available to families expressing a desire to attend integrated schools in the Hartford region, commissioned a study of the Open Choice program operating since the initial 1997 agreement. In addition to highlighting the state’s unwillingness to commit real resources or energy to increasing the program, the 2007 study also found that the program has been stymied by slow growth and reluctance on the part of some suburban districts to participate in the program.19 The report states that enrollment capacity of the suburbs is not necessarily an issue limiting program growth: of the 27 districts participating in the choice program, at least 10 districts offer less than 1% of their seats to Hartford children, and no suburban system allocates more than 3% of its seats.20 In addition to the Open Choice study, Trinity College and the University of Connecticut collaborated to produce a 2006 update on the interdistrict magnet school program. The report states that while 20 new magnet programs have been opened, many operate with minority enrollments hovering above 75% of the total student population, creating a school setting that no longer meets the desegregation standards under Sheff.21 Including both the open choice provisions and magnet school opportunities, in 2007 only 14% of Hartford’s students were being provided with integrated educational opportunities.22 These numbers differ markedly from the results of a recent public opinion survey, conducted by the University of Connecticut, which reported that over two-thirds of all respondents, regardless of race, income, age or geography, supported giving parents the option to send their children to schools outside of their district.2 Furthermore, an overwhelming 83% of participants supported the interdistrict magnet school programs. Taken together, these figures suggested that the time was ripe to revisit the case once again as the interim settlement was set to expire in June 2007. The desegregation programs operated without an agreement during the intervening time prior to the April 2008 settlement.

In April, the plaintiffs and the state agreed to a new settlement agreement, approved by the General Assembly in May after several public hearings. The settlement stipulation notes that the goals set forth by the Phase I Stipulation were not met by the June 20, 2007 expiration and proposes the most comprehensive remedy to date for racial isolation in Hartford schools, requiring the expansion of integration opportunities to meet the demand of at least 80% of students by the school year 2012-13. The ultimate goal of the plan is to provide all interested students with the opportunity to attend school in an integrated setting.24 The new plan includes outreach provisions to ensure that information is equally distributed to all communities, as well as important safeguards in the form of a comprehensive, detailed and centralized management plan, transportation improvements, and monitoring pacts – elements missing from the previous agreements.25

The Sheff case underscores the challenges of implementing desegregation programs in an era of increased educational choice and fiscal constraints. The execution of the magnet and transfer remedies has often been restricted by the dual role of the state – as both a defendant in the case and as the party responsible for implementing programs with little court enforcement. In some ways, the long road to the 2008 settlement agreement is reminiscent of the aftermath of the Brown II decision. The 1955 ruling called for schools to desegregate with “all deliberate speed” – a statement that translated into fifteen years of resistance and foot-dragging throughout the South.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Sheff settlement is that it keeps the focus on the largely neglected issue of the severe segregation between districts in the metropolitan North. The great majority of segregation is among districts, not among schools within a given district. Though the scope of the gains so far are modest, Connecticut is developing some of the kinds of regional magnet programs – in several cities across the state in addition to the Hartford region – that could be one path to a better, less segregated, future. Connecticut’s economic and social prospects are increasingly dependent upon educating its growing nonwhite population and overcoming longstanding trends of racial and ethnic polarization.

For next time…
The next issue of TIR will take a closer look at recent developments concerning San Francisco’s student assignment plan. A new civil grand jury report has touched off a wave of controversy and discussion in the city.

Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
The Integration Report


1 Sheff v. O’Neill, 238 Conn. 1, at 29.
2 Eaton, Susan (2006). The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. See also the Sheff Movement’s Web site at www.sheffmovement.org.
3 Eaton, p. 11.
4 Dougherty, Jack, Naralys Estevez, Jesse Wanzer, David Tatum, Courtney Bell, Casey Bob, and Craig Esposito (July 2006). A Visual Guide to Sheff v. O’Neill. Retrieved on July 3, 2008 from http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/educ/css/research/Sheff_Report_July2006.pdf.
5 Orfield, G. and Erica Frankenberg (2008). The Last Have Become First: Rural and Small Town America Lead the Way on Desegregation. Los Angeles: The Civil Rights Project. Retrieved on July 3, 2008 from http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/deseg/lasthavebecomefirst.pdf.
6 Dougherty et al.
7 Biegel, Stuart (2006). Education and the Law (American Casebook Series). Minnesota: Thomson West.
8 Eaton, Part IV Trials, pp. 113-184.
9 Eaton, p. 12.
10 Eaton, p. 106.
11 Cited in ACLU’s First Ten Years of Sheff v. O’Neill Implementation at http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/ACLU_powerpoint_-_first_ten_years.pdf.
12 Sheff v. O’Neill, 238 Conn. 1, at 10.
13 Sheff v. O’Neill, 238 Conn. 1, at 10-11.
14 Eaton, p. 179.
15 Frankenberg, Erica (September 2007). Improving and Expanding Hartford’s Project Choice Campaign. Washington, DC: Poverty and Race Research Action Counsel. Retrieved on July 2, 2008 from http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/ProjectChoiceCampaignFinalReport.pdf.
16 Eaton, p. 294.
17 Eaton, p. 315.
18 Cited in ACLU’s First Ten Years of Sheff v. O’Neill Implementation at http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/ACLU_powerpoint_-_first_ten_years.pdf.
19 Frankenberg, p. 7.
20 Ibid. The report also shows that there appears to be excess capacity in many suburban schools according to Connecticut’s own capacity figures.
21 Dougherty, et al.
22 The Sheff Movement, retrieved on July 1, 2008 from http://www.sheffmovement.org/index.shtml.
23 Browne, Alexis, Lauren Friedman and Sean Harrington. (2008). The Sheff Movement Survey Study, retrieved on July 1, 2008 from http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/2008SurveyStudy.pdf. and “Connecticut residents overwhelmingly support voluntary two-way integration programs.” See more poll results at http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/PollPressRelease6-11-08.pdf.
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.


Contents

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News Summary

Please send us your news
Please send reports, documents, and decisions from your community to The Integration Report, Editor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, at integrationrept@ucla.edu. Include web links if they are available.

 

Hope for Sheff success
The latest settlement in the landmark Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case has the best chance yet of achieving voluntary racial balance in schools — which in concept has overwhelming public support (July 1, 2008).
http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-sheffok.artjul01,0,4976559.story

Will bus plan hurt diversity?
NAACP president says Mount Clemens’ new busing routes would disrupt racial balance in schools
The president of the Macomb County (Michigan) chapter of the NAACP is concerned a new busing plan created by Mount Clemens Community Schools dilutes diversity in the district’s elementary schools (June 20, 2008).
http://www.macombdaily.com/stories/062008/loc_local05.shtml

Dawson’s successor and segregation
Recent stories in The Times have made it clear that the leaders of the Huntsville schools want to shake off the 1970 federal desegregation order (June 27, 2008).
http://www.al.com/opinion/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/opinion/121455811741510.xml&coll=1

School board allies decry district’s racial imbalance
The Hartford Courant reports that the only two minority members of the Manchester, Connecticut school board are opposing the district’s plan to address “racial imbalance” in its schools, attributing their opposition to years of inaction by the board and the superintendent to address the test score gap between white and minority students —a gap that could be partially attributed to the district’s racially imbalanced elementary schools. (June 22, 2008)
http://cw20.trb.com/news/local/hc-manrace0622.artjun22,0,3993072.story

Change to S.F. schools’ assigning policy urged
The San Francisco School Board will have a series of discussions this fall that will probably lead to a major change – such as adding race into the equation or working intensively to improve low-performing, less popular schools to draw more families to them. (June 27, 2008).
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/27/BAUN11FS2U.DTL&tsp=1

Grand jury says SF public school admissions flawed
San Francisco’s public school admissions system, intended to foster diversity in schools, is actually “an expensive failure,” according to a civil grand jury report released Thursday. (June 27, 2008).
http://cbs5.com/local/sfusd.school.admissions.2.758401.html

Flawed grand jury report on SFUSD: A critique
As a veteran SFUSD parent and observer of school issues, I read the San Francisco Grand Jury’s report on San Francisco’s public school assignment process, “San Francisco Kindergarten Admissions – Back to the Drawing Board,” and felt it called for a detailed critique. Despite an apparently exhaustive research process, the report indicates a dismaying lack of comprehension about many aspects of the situation (June 30, 2008).
http://www.examiner.com/x-356-SF-Education-Examiner~y2008m6d29-Flawed-Grand-Jury-report-on-SFUSD-a-critique

With dismissal of discrimination suit, Galveston schools closer to unitary status
Because of a judge’s ruling, the Galveston Independent School District does not have to further answer allegations of discrimination and wrongful termination brought by a former law enforcement official, and the district is steps closer to settling a decades-old desegregation lawsuit (June 26, 2008)
http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/213521-with-dismissal-of-discrimination-suit-galveston-schools-closer-to-unitary-status

Success coach finds place at Neveln school
The Success Coach position was implemented in Austin Public Schools in fall 2007 as part of a three-year Austin/Southland Integration Collaborative Desegregation Plan. The two districts were identified in 2006 as racially isolated school districts and therefore qualified for more than $600,000 in integration revenue to provide language and cultural programming. (June 27, 2008)
http://www.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=28&a=349158

Parents still waiting on desegregation plan
Transfer notices held up by late free, reduced lunch verifications

Lafayette Public School System’s new desegregation plan is behind schedule to notify parents who applied to have their children transferred to a high-performing school. About 350 students on free or reduced lunch who attend a low-performing school applied last month to transfer to a high-performing school in their geographical cluster (June 26, 2008).
http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080626/NEWS01/806260324

UPlace schools tackle economic desegregation
University Place (Washington) school officials don’t want any of their schools to be “poor” schools. They’ve read research that says students, even those from more advantaged families, don’t perform well at schools with above-average poverty levels. They want to create an equal playing field for kids districtwide. (June 25, 2008)
http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/story/396975.html

Project documents segregated schools
LincolnHighAlumni.org is a new Web site being created by local Web site developer UniqueOrn Enterprises to document the history of Chapel Hill’s schools for black students before desegregation. (June 24, 2008)
http://www.chapelhillnews.com/news/story/15248.html

TUSD gets more time for desegregation plan
A federal judge has given Tucson Unified School District more time to come up with a workable plan to get out from under its decades-long racial-balance court order. But at the same time, U.S. District Judge David Bury criticized the district in his Monday ruling for its failure to follow his order and work collaboratively with community advocates and instead unilaterally drafting its own plan (June 25, 2008).
http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/245423

Judge wants action on TUSD post-desegregation plan
School District and plaintiffs in a 3-decades-old desegregation suit are at an impasse in creating a joint agreement on how the district should operate after desegregation is lifted. But a judge is telling them to meet again. TUSD cut off the previous joint meetings after two days (June 25, 2008).
http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/89260.php

TUSD to hold hearing on proposed $381M budget
TUSD’s governing board will hold a hearing Tuesday night on the district’s proposed $381.2 million budget for fiscal year 2008-09.
The budget includes $361.8 million for maintenance and operations, of which about $59 million is for the desegregation budget. (June 24, 2008)
http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/89120.php

Tangipahoa zones won’t change in 2008-09
The Tangipahoa Parish School Board’s lead desegregation attorney disclosed the district’s school attendance zones would remain the same during the 2008-09 school year while a parishwide school desegregation plan is hammered out, a spokeswoman said Tuesday (June 25, 2008).
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/21016194.html

5th Circuit frees two Texas districts from desegregation order
A federal appeals court has ruled that two small Texas school districts do not have to comply with restrictions on student transfers under a broad 1970 desegregation order because those districts had desegregated voluntarily in the 1960s and were not defendants in the original lawsuit. (June 25, 2008)
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/2008/06/5th_circuit_frees_two_texas_di.html

2 Panhandle schools no longer subject to parts of desegregation order
Two Texas Panhandle school districts are no longer subject to part of a 1970 desegregation order that requires student transfers to be race neutral.A federal appeals court in New Orleans Tuesday ruled in the case of the Samnorwood and Harrold school districts (June 24, 2008).
http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_news/default.asp?ArID=212418

City school board approved rezoning plan
The Dothan City School Board (Alabama) unanimously approved a school re-zoning plan initially proposed by Superintendent Dr. Sam Nichols. The current zoning plan was part of a federal desegregation order (June 24, 2008).
http://www.wtvynews4.com/home/headlines/20735684.html

‘Drop Back In’ center concept to be debated by school board
The Pitt County Board of Education will discuss one more move in the battle against the high school drop out rate today. The school board will discuss working with an education company, Alternatives Unlimited, based in Baltimore, that wants to open a “Drop Back In” center here.
The school board will also discuss a commitment to diversity policy. The policy committee to the board discussed a new policy and procedure last week that would define the school board’s commitment to diversity and create a diversity task force made up of community members, teachers and administrators (June 23, 2008).
http://www.reflector.com/local/content/news/stories/2008/06/23/0623schoolboard.html

School board upholds open-enrollment decisions
Two families looking to open-enroll their children out of Davenport (Iowa) schools left Monday night’s school board meeting disappointed. Several months ago, Davenport School District administrators denied the families’ open-enrollment applications, along with 36 others, under the board’s newly adopted diversity plan. The plan replaced the district’s desegregation plan and uses a formula that looks at a student’s family income and academic performance to determine who is allowed to leave the district. Most often, it favors requests from children who are lower-performing and lower-income. (June 23, 2008)
http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/06/23/news/local/doc48607a5473af9620018115.txt

Are city’s schools equal enough?
Federal approval necessary before campuses merge

If the Huntsville school board votes next month to fold 10 small schools into five large ones, Huntsville will have to wait on federal permission on any building project that upset the balance of white and black students. But federal interest appears to be waning, as school systems from Kansas City to Miami have been retiring the civil rights era orders that ended dual school systems. (June 22, 2008)
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1214126226173880.xml&coll=1

Rezoning task difficult, but must benefit all students
Metro Board of Education member Mark North had it right: This is “such a complicated issue.” The task force’s mission is to make recommendations to the board for a comprehensive student assignment plan for Nashville’s 130 public schools (June 22, 2008).
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080622/COLUMNIST0107/806220365/1008/OPINION01

Desegregation office closure proposed
’08-09 budget plan factors in suit settlement, December wrap-up

Sending another signal that the 25-year-old Pulaski County (Arkansas) school desegregation lawsuit is winding down, a federal desegregation monitoring office has proposed a 2008-09 budget that anticipates possibly closing the office in December (June 20, 2008).
http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/jun/20/desegregation-office-closure-proposed-20080620/?subscriber/national

Jefferson schools may add 22 magnet programs
Twenty-two Jefferson County elementary schools would offer new magnet programs — ranging from environmental studies to performing arts — under a district proposal aimed at attracting students to low-income and high-minority areas (June 23, 2008).
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080623/NEWS0105/806230395/1008/NEWS01

Board rejects Justice plan
The St. Landry Parish School Board voted 11-1 Thursday to reject a proposed U.S. Justice Department student desegregation plan that aims to consolidate or close many of the district’s schools (July 4, 2008).
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/22964494.html

Clock’s ticking on school plan
The clock is ticking on a Sept. 11 deadline for the St. Landry Parish School Board to develop a plan to further integrate schools and give students equal access to quality facilities (July 6, 2008).
http://www.dailyworld.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/NEWS01/807060303/1002

Students march against bus cuts
Mobile County Alabama officials said that they are having to cancel and change routes due to local and state budget cuts and rising gas prices. Students can still attend these schools, officials said, but they’ll have to get there on their own (July 3, 2008).
http://www.al.com/news/press-register/index.ssf?/base/news/1215076578292490.xml&coll=3

Nashville school rezoning plan modified to address concerns
One Metro Nashville school set to close would remain open, and families whose kids attend high-poverty schools would get clear assurances of additional resources under a modified rezoning plan for the district (July 4, 2008).
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080704/NEWS04/807040390/1018/NEWS01

Greenville Parents Association rep files for hearing
A representative from the Greenville (North Carolina) Parents Association filed to appear in the federal court hearing on the use of race in school assignment by the Pitt County Board of Education for the 2006-07 school year (July 4, 2008).
http://www.reflector.com/local/content/news/stories/2008/07/04/courtfilings.html?imw=Y

At magnet school, an Asian plurality: Group forms 45% of freshmen at Thomas Jefferson
Asian American students will outnumber white classmates for the first time in the freshman class at the region’s most prestigious public magnet school – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology – this fall, a milestone reached as the number of African Americans and Hispanics has remained low and the Fairfax County School Board prepares to review the school’s admission policy (June 7, 2008).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/06/AR2008070602343.html?hpid=topnews

Norfolk 17 to be honored by First Baptist Church on Sunday
First Baptist Church Norfolk on Bute Street will observe “Freedom Sunday” during a 10 a.m. worship service Sunday. The event is to honor the “Norfolk 17,” a group of African American students who were the first to desegregate Norfolk Public Schools almost 50 years ago. In 1958, several Norfolk Public Schools closed under Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” laws to avoid desegregation. The church then set up classes to tutor the students who were among the 10,000 locked out (July 4, 2008).
http://hamptonroads.com/2008/07/norfolk-17-be-honored-church-sunday

Few minorities in school leadership
At the highest ranks in the Springfield, Missouri district, minority faces are the most rare. In the 2007-08 school year, only four of the district’s 220 administrators were classified as a minority (June 29, 2008).
http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080629/NEWS01/806290348/1007

Urban families building city experience for kids
Parents are going to schools to build the city experience they want for their kids. More couples say they plan to raise their children in Chicago rather than the suburbs, citing everything from the length of their commute, to diversity in their decision (June 29, 2008).
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/chi-re-urban-families-0629jun29,0,4015150.story

Please send us your news
Please send reports, documents, and decisions from your community to The Integration Report, Editor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, at integrationrept@ucla.edu. Include web links if they are available.

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Additional Resources for School Integration

**NEW** Site: http://www.colecivilrights.com – The Web site completes Attorney Richard Cole’s transition to private sector civil rights work after 16 years of civil rights service in the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General.

Message from Richard Cole: I invite each of you to navigate the entire site to learn more about the unique and varied civil rights consulting and legal services I am offering. I also welcome your comments and advice. For your information and participation, the site will also update you on my upcoming statewide, regional, and national programs and workshops.

The consulting and legal services I am offering are based on my more than three decades of extensive civil rights experience as Assistant Attorney General and Civil Rights Division Chief in the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, a private practice civil rights litigator, and a legal services litigator and manager.

**NEW** Book: Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race In School

The New Press announces the publication of Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race In School, edited by Mica Pollock.
How should teachers and parents respond when children ask challenging questions about race? How should teachers handle the use of the “N-word” or discuss “achievement gaps” with colleagues? How can teachers avoid unwittingly making children of color speak on behalf of their entire group? While numerous books exist about race and race theory, Everyday Antiracism puts theory into practice by offering specific strategies for combating racism in the classroom. This book is available to order through Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Sheff Web site
For more information regarding the Sheff desegregation case in Connecticut, please visit
http://www.sheffmovement.org/index.shtml. To view the results of a recent statewide poll revealing broad based support for interdistrict desegregation programs, please visit http://www.sheffmovement.org/pdf/PollPressRelease6-11-08.pdf.

BuildingChoice Web site
This Web site is designed to help implement and maintain public school choice programs. Included are promising practices from a range of programs, tools, and links to many additional resources to support your choice efforts.
http://www.buildingchoice.org/

The School Law Blog
Visit the School Law Blog for an important discussion of news and analysis of legal developments affecting schools, educators, and parents. Mark Walsh has been covering legal issues in education for more than 15 years for Education Week. He writes about school-related cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and in lower courts.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/

Still Looking to the Future: Voluntary K-12 School Integration; A Manual for Parents, Educators and Advocates. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) are distributing the 2nd edition of their K-12 school integration manual which addresses the practical questions of what can be done to promote diversity and address the harms of racial isolation in schools.
To download the manual, visit www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu or www.naacpldf.org.
To request hard copies or CDs of the manual and supplemental materials, please send an e-mail with your contact information and the number of copies requested to manual@naacpldf.org.

Preserving Integration Options for Latino Students. The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) and the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP/PDC) are currently disseminating their collaboratively-written guide for parents, advocates and educators interested in promoting diversity and addressing the harms of Latino racial isolation in their schools.
To download the manual or for additional information, please visit CRP/PDF’s Web site at www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu.

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Upcoming Dates

National Call for Research Papers and Notice of Upcoming Conference
“Looking to the Future: Legal and Policy Options for Racially Integrated Education in the South”

Deadline for Proposals: September 2, 2008
Conference date: April 2, 2009 at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA (Gary Orfield & Patricia Gándara, co-directors), the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights at the UNC School of Law (Julius Chambers, director), and the University of Georgia Education Policy and Evaluation Center (Elizabeth DeBray-Pelot, interim director) will co-sponsor a national conference on April 2, 2009, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The conference will focus on the choices likely to shape the racial future of Southern education in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2007 Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (PICS) decision. The goal of the conference is to heighten scholarly understanding about the meaning of the decision, as well as to enhance discussion about more immediate and longer-term policy options for the future of integration in the South.

For more details regarding the content and submission of proposals, please see http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/news_conf_looking_to_the_future_2008.php.

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The Integration Report – Staff Members

Editor: Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
Editorial Assistant: Jared Sanchez
Legal Research: Hadley Van Vector
Editorial Committee: Erica Frankenberg, Gary Orfield, Laurie Russman
Webmaster: John Khuu

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Key Terms

De facto segregation – segregation that happens “by fact” rather than by law. For example, if communities are residentially segregated then many neighborhood schools tend to reflect these patterns..

Interdistrict magnet schools – See regional magnet school.

Open coice – See voluntary transfer plan.

Regional magnet schools – magnet schools are one of the oldest desegregation tools and tend to offer specialized curriculum. They are often designed to attract students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. A regional magnet program strives to combat residential segregation patterns by allowing students to cross district lines to attend the school.

Seattle/Louisville rulingParents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education was decided by the Supreme Court in June, 2007. The decision limited the use of race in student assignment plans.

Voluntary transfer plan – a desegregation tool designed to combat residential segregation by allowing students to cross boundary lines to attend school outside of their school district.

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The Integration Report is produced by the Initiative on School Integration at The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, and is supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute.

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