What Would it Take to Close the Opportunity Gap?
TAGBoston is cosponsoring an event presented by the Latin American Law Students Association on the issue of closing the opportunity gap. The event will feature three prominent legal and educations scholars as well as prominent Â local respondents whoÂ will discuss the implications of the presentation for policy in Massachusetts and contemplate the possible challengesÂ policymakers may face in implementing such reforms.
Date: January 25th, 2012
Event Name:Â What Would it Take to Close the Opportunity Gap?
Sponsor: TAGBoston and the Latin American Law Students Association at Suffolk University School of Law
Type of Event: Panel Discussion
Location:Â Modern Theatre, Suffolk University,Â 525 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111 (Click for Directions)
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
RSVP Website:Â http://charleshamiltonhouston.org/Events/Event.aspx?id=100150
The discussion draws principally on the recent work ofÂ Edwin DardenÂ (Director of Law and Policy, The Appleseed Network) andÂ DerekÂ BlackÂ (Professor, Howard University School of Law). Both of these civil rights scholars recently developed different, but complementary,Â frameworks for assessing access to what Dardenâ€™s organization terms â€œlearning-related education resources.â€ Such resources profoundly affect theÂ quality and effectiveness of education, are usually distributed by a school board’s approval, but are not “dollars” per se (i.e. curricula, qualified and motivated teachers, and building upgrades.) Appleseed’s research finds that school boards often make one-at-a-timeÂ decisions that, over years and decades, exacerbate resource disparities between schools in their districts. Â TheÂ Appleseed Network designed the Resource Equity Assessment Document (READ) as a tool in identifying andÂ correcting disparities in learning-related education resources.Meanwhile, Professor Derek Blackâ€™s most recent scholarship Â â€œrevealed aÂ serious problem with racially unequal access to middle income peers within districts that stretches across all states.â€ Given the documented benefitsÂ associated with access to middle income peers, Black argues for a constitutional right to equal access to middle income peers.Â The third presenter,Â Myron OrfieldÂ (Professor, University of Minnesota School of Law) will discuss the READ tool and its implications onÂ school board decision-making within the context of student assignment (an issue that is not explicitly addressed by the READ tool). He willÂ explore the modern-day implications of the Supreme Courtâ€™s 1973 decision inÂ Keyes v. School District No. 1, which was an important legalÂ precedent in the Boston desegregation case (during which issues of â€œintentâ€ were passionately debated).
Three respondents will discuss the implications of the presentation for policy in Massachusetts and contemplate the possible challengesÂ policymakers may face in implementing such reforms.Â RespondentsÂ Donna BivensÂ (Director, Boston Busing and Desegregation Project at the Union of MinorityÂ Neighborhoods), andÂ Mariana ArcayaÂ (Public Health Manager at MAPC, providing public health expertise, statistical analysis, and program evaluation support)Â will discuss the implications of the presentation for policy in Massachusetts and contemplate the possible challenges policymakers may face in implementing such reforms.