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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Founded in 1996 by former Harvard professors Gary Orfield and Christopher Edley, Jr., the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles is now co-directed by Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law, on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It has commissioned more than 400 studies, published 14 books and issued numerous reports from authors at universities and research centers across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision upholding affirmative action, and in Justice Breyer’s dissent (joined by three other Justices) to its 2007 Parents Involved in Community Schools decision, cited the Civil Rights Project’s research.

Cover page of The Dropout/Graduation Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students

The Dropout/Graduation Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska Native Students

(2010)

This paper examines the graduation/dropout crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native students using data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Data from 2005 is drawn from the seven states with the highest percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native students as well as five states in the Pacific and Northwestern regions of the United States. Findings indicate that the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives who graduate continues to be a matter of urgent concern. On average, less than 50% of Native students in these twelve states graduate each year.

Also available at http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu

Cover page of The Grade Retention Fallacy

The Grade Retention Fallacy

(2002)

For 40 years, study after study on grade retention has reached the same conclusion: Failing a student, particularly in the critical ninth grade year, is the single largest predictor of whether he or she drops out. Unless accompanied by targeted and intensive supports and interventions, this practice yields no academic gains for the retained students, results in huge management problems, and financially taxes the school system.

Cover page of Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can Be Done

Why Students Drop Out of School and What Can Be Done

(2001)

Because dropping out is influenced by both individual and institutional factors, intervention strategies can focus on either or both sets of factors. That is, intervention strategies can focus on addressing the individual values, attitudes, and behaviors that are associated with dropping out without attempting to alter the characteristics of families, schools, and communities that may contribute to those individual factors. Many dropout prevention programs pursue such programmatic strategies by providing would-be dropouts with additional resources and supports to help them stay in school.

Cover page of Revisiting the Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education: Lessons about Dropout Research and Dropout Prevention

Revisiting the Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education: Lessons about Dropout Research and Dropout Prevention

(2001)

This paper extends an examination of grade enrollment and high school graduation patterns in Texas presented in “The Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education” (Haney, 2000). Using enrollment data from 1975-76 through 1999-2000, I examine the pattern apparent between flunking grade 9 and failure to persist in school to high school graduation. Before focusing on this particular topic, I provide a summary of the “Myth” article, supplemented by new evidence available since publication of that article in August 2000.

Cover page of Essential Components of High School Dropout Prevention Reforms

Essential Components of High School Dropout Prevention Reforms

(2001)

For the most troubled high schools, we argue in favor of a strict adherence to implementing a complete comprehensive reform model of the three key components—organization, instruction, and teacher support—where each component is established with no compromises that would weaken the self-contained Academy structure, the extended time and extra-help courses within a high standards curriculum, or the continuous support of teachers by expert inclass coaches for instructional innovations.

Cover page of Connecting Entrance and Departure: The Transition to Ninth Grade and High School Dropout

Connecting Entrance and Departure: The Transition to Ninth Grade and High School Dropout

(2001)

The descriptive data for this urban school system indicate that the modal dropout grade is ninth grade, even though students may have been enrolled in high school for three or even four years. Credit-wise, the largest proportion of dropouts are barely out of the starting gate in high school.