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Tip Sheet

For immediate use

June 26, 2007

Supreme Court expected to announce decision on school integration cases
UNC-Chapel Hill experts can discuss education, civil rights law, urban investment

The Supreme Court of the United States is likely to issue decisions this week in two cases concerning race as a factor for school assignment: Parents Involved in Community Schools Inc. v. Seattle School District and Meredith v. Jefferson County (Ky.) Board of Education.

UNC experts, and their contact information, are:

Education
Kirsten Kainz, investigator at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC and lead author of a recent study that revealed that children in families with low incomes, who attend “minority segregated” schools, under-perform in reading, even after accounting for the quality of the literacy instruction, literary experiences at home, gender, race and other variables. Nationally, the majority of black and Hispanic students attend such schools. A summary of the research is available at http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~snapshots/snap47.pdf. A podcast interview with Kainz is available at http://www.fpg.unc.edu/assets/media/fpgvoices_minoritysegregation_jun2007.mp3.
Contact: 919-843-7685 or kkainz@email.unc.edu  

Civil rights law
Ashley Osment, senior attorney, UNC Civil Rights Center. Osment co-authored an amicus brief (or "friend of the court brief") in December when the court heard arguments for these two cases. The 28-page brief, which argues, among other things, that school districts have a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in K-12 education, is available online at http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/civilrights/documents/default.aspx.
Contact: Osment (919) 843-9807 (office), 919-412-5396 (cell) or osment@email.unc.edu
               
Julius Chambers, director, the Center for Civil Rights at the UNC School of Law. For 15 years, Chambers worked with community groups in Charlotte, N.C., to chart the course of Swann v. Charlotte/Mecklenburg Board of Education, a case that eventually made Charlotte a national leader in school desegregation. He was lead counsel in scores of school desegregation cases throughout North and South Carolina. As director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. in 1984, Chambers worked closely with many major civil rights leaders and organization, leading policymakers and scholars of public education.
Contact: (919) 704-651-1654 (limited availability Thursday, June 28)

Education
George W. Noblit, distinguished professor of Sociology of Education. Noblit was a signatory of the social science statement submitted as a brief in the Seattle case. He supervised “Roads Not Taken in School Desegregation,” a six-year oral history study of three North Carolina communities. His UNC School of Education profile is posted at http://soe.unc.edu/fac_research/profile/noblit.php
Contact: (919) 962-2513 or  gwn@email.unc.edu

Urban investment, education
James Johnson, director, Urban Investment Strategies Program, Kenan-Flagler Business School. Johnson created a successful scholars program for inner-city students in Durham, N.C., and plans to open a tuition-free private school. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects socially and economically disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues.
Contact: (919) 862-8201 (available beginning Wednesday, June 27)

Education, segregation, history
James Leloudis, associate dean for honors, UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. Leloudis is currently working on an oral history study of school desegregation. His chief interest is the history of the modern South, with emphases on women, labor, education, race and reform. He has published two books on these topics: “Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World,” and “Schooling the New South: Pedagogy, Self, and Society in North Carolina, 1880-1920.” Another current project is a study of race, politics, and leadership in the War on Poverty in the South.
Contact: (919) 265-3778

FPG contact: Tracy Zimmerman, (919) 966-0867 or zimmerman@fpg.email.unc.edu
Law School contact: Matt Marvin, office (919) 919-962-4125, cell (919)-260-0717 or mmarvin@email.unc.edu
Kenan-Flagler contact: Allison Adams, (919) 962-7235  Allison_Adams@kenan-flagler.unc.edu
College of Arts & Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093 or spurrk@email.unc.edu
News Services contact: Clinton Colmenares, office (919) 843-1991, cell (919) 218-7833 or clinton_colmenares@unc.edu