Gary Orfield: CRP Co-Director to Discuss Educational Legislation at National Conference

Annual event by the Academy for Educational Studies focuses on "Critical Questions in Education."

UCLA Education Professor Gary Orfield will address the national “Critical Questions in Education” conference, hosted by the Academy for Educational Studies, Feb. 16-18 in San Diego. The annual event focuses on the most urgent issues surrounding pre-K- 16 education.

Professor Orfield has been selected to speak on civil rights era educational legislation and policy and its failure to serve the most vulnerable students. He will also discuss the needs of these students in and out of schools. Francisco Ramirez, professor of comparative education at Stanford University, will address the policies, purposes, and practices of education systems worldwide, and what they can learn from American education.

“There have been extensive reversals of civil rights in education since the Supreme Court reversed school desegregation requirements in major decisions from the l990s to 2007,” says Orfield. “A number of states abolished affirmative action and limited access of students of color to college, and the rights of linguistic minorities were sharply cut back. California, for example, has moved from a highly integrated state for Latino students in l970, to the nation’s most segregated [today], and the loss of affirmative action has never been repaired at the University of California.

“The once serious effort to diversify faculties and offer both teachers and students [essential] training in the backgrounds and culture of all groups of students has given way to a very simplified test-driven curriculum and training in many colleges that simply ignores the crucial elements of effective education.”

Orfield is the co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. He was recently ranked on an annual list as the fourth most publicly influential scholar in the nation by Education Week.