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Comments on proposed Race to the Top District Guidelines call for high-quality diverse schools

Posted By Matt Ellinwood On June 11, 2012 @ 12:17 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

The Education & Law Project joined the UNC Center for Civil Rights and other partners in calling on the Department of Education to ensure that proposed Race to the Top District (RTT-D) guidelines [1] for distributing grants prioritize the development and maintenance of high quality, racially and socioeconomically diverse public schools.

The comments [2] point out that the RTT-D guidelines entirely omit consideration of racial and socio-economic diversity in schools, despite overwhelmingly one-sided research outcomes [3] on the topic and previous recognition by the Department of Education itself [4] that integration is a funding priority.

The Department’s RTT-D proposal emphasizes individual-focused education and improving high-needs schools without the necessary parallel of promoting diversity on a school or system-wide level.   This limited approach encourages districts to concentrate students in racially identifiable low-achieving schools and programs to procure funding for remediation.  Instead, the Department should incentivize districts to maintain a system-wide commitment to integration and broad-based student achievement at the district, school, and classroom level.

Additionally, RTT-D contains a requirement excluding districts that serve less than 2,500 students from applying individually for grants , putting many of North Carolina’s highest need rural districts at a significant competitive disadvantage. While these smaller districts can apply jointly as a consortium, the onerous administrative requirement of inter-county coordination could delay or deprive resources from the state’s neediest students.

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URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2012/06/11/comments-on-proposed-race-to-the-top-district-guidelines-call-for-high-quality-diverse-schools/

URLs in this post:

[1] Race to the Top District (RTT-D) guidelines: http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition

[2] The comments: http://blogs.law.unc.edu/documents/civilrights/ccrncrttd.pdf

[3] overwhelmingly one-sided research outcomes: http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity

[4] recognition by the Department of Education itself: http://www.magnet.edu/modules/info/files/files_4d2b68003a03b.pdf

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