The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
The nation cannot afford discriminatory barriers that unfairly limit or deny educational access based on factors like race, national origin, sex, or disability. Inequality in education prevents the nation from fulfilling its potential, and ensuring equal educational opportunity remains one of the civil rights movement's top priorities.
March 10, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, and Arne Duncan, secretary of Education, visit with students at Explore Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., in February 2009.
In a speech today before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President Obama said it is time to reform U.S. education by adopting uniform achievement standards, increasing funding for early childhood education and high schools, and rewarding good teachers.
"The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, it's unsustainable for our democracy, it's unacceptable for our children — and we can't afford to let it continue," said Obama.
To implement the president's vision, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the Washington Post last week that he plans to use the education money in the recently passed economic recovery law to encourage school districts to adopt innovative policies and programs that have been proven to better educate students, including lengthening the school day, rewarding good teachers, and adopting uniform achievement standards.
"We share President Obama and Secretary Duncan's commitment to ensuring that education funding, and especially the new funding provided by the Recovery Act, support real reforms that will actually reach every child in America and help provide them with a first-rate education," said David Goldberg, a senior counsel at LCCR.
February 26, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Every year, students across the country celebrate Black History Month in a variety of ways, but a few states have passed laws that require public schools to include Black history in their curriculum throughout the year.
New Jersey, Illinois and New York have each created a commission to review how public schools in the state are teaching Black history and make recommendations on how to improve the curriculum. The commissions are called "Amistad Commissions" after the Amistad, a Spanish slave ship that was the site of a famous slave revolt in 1839.
One of the goals of the New Jersey commission is "to infuse the history of Africans and African-Americans into the social studies curriculum in order to provide an accurate, complete and inclusive history." It has developed a set of lesson plans which teachers will incorporate into their classrooms starting this fall.
However, four years after its law passed, New York has not yet appointed all its commissioners and the commission has never met.
California, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado and Michigan have also passed legislation regarding instruction in Black history. Florida's law, passed in 1994, also requires that its public schools teach women's history, Latino history, and the Holocaust.
February 25, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige participating in a reading session with elementary school children at Kit Carson Elementary School in San Diego, Calif., during a visit in 2002.
In 2000, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) created the "Blueprint for Student Success" to reform its schools and better educate its students. SDUSD is the eighth largest urban school district in the nation and has a high concentration of minorities and low-income students.
Prior to the plan, schools in the district struggled with low college enrollment, a high dropout rate, and a graduation rate of only 67 percent. The plan created immediate results for elementary schools, but results at the high school level took a little longer.
February 23, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Civil rights issues were all over the editorial pages this weekend. Here are just a few highlights:
February 17, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
With at least 26 states enacting or proposing major budget cuts to K-12 education spending, the money for education in the economic recovery package that President Obama signed into law today could have a huge impact on struggling states and local school districts.
February 2, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
With passage of the $819 billion economic stimulus package in the House of Representatives on January 28, the nation's primary and secondary schools could finally receive the level of funding under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) originally envisioned when the law was enacted in 2002.
January 26, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
A January 2009 report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA shows that amid the current national climate of anticipation and hope, the U.S. is sliding backward toward segregated and highly unequal schools.
Professor Gary Orfield, the author of "Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge," commented that "it would be a tragedy if the country assumed from the Obama election that the problems of race have been solved, when many inequalities are actually deepening."
January 7, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
- Posted by Tyler Lewis
The Obama administration signaled this week that it is making reauthorization and strengthening of the main federal education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a priority for 2010. The ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002 as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
More Information On
Segregation & Diversity
In The News
Recent news clips on this issue.