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Advancing Creative Solutions to Assure Fairness and Excellence in Education

In schools where there are large numbers of African American teachers, African American students are less likely to be placed in special education classes; less likely to receive corporal punishment; less likely to be suspended or expelled; more likely to be placed in gifted and talented programs; and more likely to graduate from high school.
Patterns of Excellence: Policy Perspectives on Diversity in Teaching and School Leadership (2001)

New Imperatives

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1994Charles Murray co-authors The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, a well publicized book arguing that African American and low-income White students under-perform in education largely because they are genetically inferior to others.
1995SEF publishes "Redeeming the American Promise" after 18 months of hearings and investigations focusing on educational opportunities for minorities. The report helps awaken a new urgency for addressing the South's lingering educational inequities.
1996Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals prohibits the University of Texas Law School from any consideration of race or ethnicity in admissions decisions. The ruling appears at odds with the 1982 US Supreme Court decision in Bakke.
1997SEF's "Teachers as Leaders" program extends a 10-year effort to enhance teacher preparation in a majority of Southern states.
1998"Miles To Go" is the name and message of SEF's report on closing the gap in educational achievement by race and income in Southern states. SEF calls on states to take more decisive action.
US Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Act. Southern Regional Educational Board documents that half the nation's growth in college enrollment in the 1990s has taken place in the South.
1999SEF completes "Gateway 21," a three-year program to enhance the technological connectivity of HBCUs, and initiates the Instructional Technology Assistance Project, to improve the use of technology in student learning at selected HBCUs.
Three Southern states (Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina) lead the nation in the percentage of children in pre-kindergarten programs.
2000In Cape Town, former South African President Nelson Mandela announces the release of SEF's "Beyond Racism" reports, four volumes that examine race, inequality, and the need to invest in education and the human potential of people in Brazil, South Africa, and the United States. .
National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that in most Southern states the gaps in student achievement for student groups--between poor and non-poor and among White, African American and Latino--have widened or remained much the same since the national testing began in the early 1990s.
2001 At the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, SA, SEF releases Beyond Racism, a unique comparative anthology on Brazil, South Africa, and the United States offering insight and analysis about lessons learned in SEF's Comparative Human Relations Initiative.
2002SEF releases two state reports, "Miles To Go, South Carolina" and "Miles To Go, Arkansas" documenting the achievement gaps by race, ethnicity, and income and each state's economic and civic imperatives to address the problems. The reports offer policy goals for fundamental changes.
President George W. Bush signs into law a bipartisan education package that revamps the federal role in public education. The "No Child Left Behind" Act provides a sharp increase in federal mandates, reporting and funding aimed at spurring states to improve student performance for low-performing schools and student populations.
2003SEF makes over 25 small grants to community and student groups, public policy activists, and historically Black colleges and universities in order to widen the reach and effect of its programs.
US Supreme Court rules in Gratz v. Bollinger that the University of Michigan may consider race as a factor in college admissions so long as it is limited to one of several factors and provides for "individualized consideration."
2004 SEF launches "Education Summer" to involve college students in educational change on the 50th anniversary of Brown.
The South and the nation observe the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
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