A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Tolerance.org features extensive civil rights-related resources for teachers, parents, teens, and younger children. The teachers’ area reflects the work of the Teaching Tolerance project, known outside the web for Teaching Tolerance magazine, and includes information about grant programs for student projects focused on equity, a wide range of anti-bias curricula, an online educators’ discussion area, professional development material, and more. The parents’ section includes book recommendations and essays on how to talk with kids about image and acceptance. The teen area offers opportunities to get published on the Tolerance.org site, among other features. The section for younger children, Planet Tolerance, offers stories, a guide to the Civil Rights Memorial and milestone civil rights events, and more that—while perhaps not well suited to independent exploration by young children—would make excellent elements in a larger civil rights curriculum.
mailing address: Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104
Bay Area Coalition of Equitable Schools (BayCES)
Dedicated to creating a network of small, equitable schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, BayCES’s focus on equity makes a it great resource for schools anywhere that are working toward social justice. A section of its website, “What is an Equitable School?” is particularly relevant and inspiring, outlining lessons learned about and visions of transformational education, student achievement, and leadership for equity. The rest of the website describes various aspects of small, equitable, autonomous schools—their classrooms, their community connections, their leaders—and provides specifics about BayCES’s work, affiliated schools, and programs, including its annual Small Schools Conference (this year, March 14—15, 2003 in Oakland, CA—see the BayCES website for more details).
mailing address: 1720 Broadway Ave., 4th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612
The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University
The Civil Rights Project states its mission as helping to “renew the civil rights movement by bridging the worlds of ideas and action, and by becoming a preeminent source of intellectual capital and a forum for building consensus within that movement.” The website focuses extensively on education-related issues, sponsoring conferences and other gathering, amassing news items relevant to equity work in education, issuing civil rights alerts (a recent example: “What to Watch for in No Child Left Behind Act of 2001”) and studies (such as “A Multiracial Society with Segregated Schools: Are We Losing the Dream?”). The site’s resources section maps useful paths to related organizations’ work. By identifying, analyzing, and suggesting solutions to today’s education-related social justice obstacles, the Civil Rights Project offers great support to schools and communities that are striving toward equity for all.
mailing address: 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 400 South, Cambridge, MA 02138
The Journal of the Annenberg Challenge
—”Closing the Achievement Gap: How Schools are Making it Happen”
The Annenberg Institute’s Challenge Journal documented the work of the Anneberg Challenge, a ten-year, $500 million effort to improve urban, rural, and arts education. This particular issue, Winter 2001—2, focuses on the achievement gap—in this context, the differences in academic achievement between white, economically stable students and economically challenged students of color. Articles detail the dilemmas facing particular schools and describe the solutions that seem to be providing the best answers. “The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations,” a look at the role of well-intended but damaging diminished expectations for some groups of students, is particularly insightful and useful.
mailing address: Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University, Box 1985, Providence, RI 02912
Equity Assistance Centers
This umbrella website provides links to the ten regional Equity Assistance Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This website’s main function is to link to the ten centers, each of which provides invaluable regional guides to equity resources, professional development, initiative information and more. Each regional Equity Assistance Center has a website; see the Contacts section for those links.
The Education Trust
Primarily an advocacy organization, the Education Trust works to defend the rights of all to a high-quality education, with a particular focus on research on and data dissemination about achievement gaps among students. The Ed Watch Data section offers National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data clearly and powerfully, allowing users to create their own queries and comparisons. Among other projects, the Education Trust also issues publications, hosts an annual Closing the Gap conference (this year, November 6–8, 2003 in Washington, DC—see the Education Trust site for more information), and organizes more that forty K-16 Councils, which “bring together the leaders of local schools, colleges, businesses and community to work to raise the academic achievement of all children at all levels.” The Education Trust also has a West Coast office based in Oakland, CA—see its website for Education Trust West contact information.
mailing address: 1725 K St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006