Skip to main content
eScholarship
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 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.

Cover page of How Many Central City High Schools Have A Severe Dropout Problem, Where Are They Located, and Who Attends Them? Initial Estimates Using the Common Core of Data

How Many Central City High Schools Have A Severe Dropout Problem, Where Are They Located, and Who Attends Them? Initial Estimates Using the Common Core of Data

(2001)

The analysis presented in this paper strongly suggests that about half of the high schools in the nation’s 35 largest cities have severe dropout rates. It further shows that high schools with weak promoting power and by implication high dropout rates are found in almost all of the largest cities but they are particularly concentrated in Midwestern and Northern industrial cities and Texas.

Cover page of Easing the Transition to High School: An Investigation of Reform Practices to Promote Ninth Grade Success

Easing the Transition to High School: An Investigation of Reform Practices to Promote Ninth Grade Success

(2001)

This study contributes to the literature on school reform and restructuring by providing much needed information about effective school organizational practices to ease the transition to high school. As educational researchers and practitioners work to find the best ways to organize high schools for the benefit of teachers and students alike, more attention must be given to the unique needs of ninth graders as they transition to a new school environment while also facing the challenges of adolescence.