Boalt’s new Berkeley Civil Rights Institute was recently awarded a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting a research and policy initiative on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The award will fund a two-year effort investigating the impact and implications of the sweeping federal education reform act. Based on that research, the project aims to develop policy proposals to improve graduation rates and other educational outcomes for all students, and particularly for minority and disadvantaged youth.
Passed in 2001, NCLB is intended to ensure that public school children meet their grade-level math and reading standards by 2014, and holds schools, teachers and others accountable for performance. The NCLB initiative will create accountability systems that will improve the effectiveness of NCLB while preparing civil rights and other educational advocates to engage in public debate and future reforms of the law. Dean Christopher Edley will serve as the principal investigator of the study through The Berkeley Civil Rights Institute in partnership with Gary Orfield, director of The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. The Gates grant represents the first substantial investment for the Berkeley-based think tank.