CERPP 2015 Conference Blog: Thursday, January 22nd

MORNING KEYNOTE ADDRESS-The Federal Role: College Ratings, Gainful Employment, and Student Aid

Ted Mitchell, the US Undersecretary of Education launched the morning with a discussion on access to education from a federal level.

Mitchell began by noting that their work is keenly focused on the President’s “North Star” goal- increasing post-secondary degree completion. He began by describing a commencement ceremony at Occidental College in which a student asked, “Can we do that again?” when Mitchell handed him his diploma. When Mitchell asked why, the student said that while he was in his traditional program at occidental, he had simultaneously completed the free Master’s curriculum from MIT.

Mitchell also described a student, Darby, who had dropped out of school, entered the workforce, and eventually found that her career was capped. She went back to school part-time and felt uncomfortable with younger students and could not juggle class and work. She tried online programming and did not find any personal connection to her work or any connections. Mitchell notes that this is someone with aspiration but without a clear path to meet those aspirations. He cited other obstacles, including lack of immediate interest and long-term benefit in the curriculum.

Mitchell referenced the demographic dividend that we face and suggested that we have the ability to provide more flexible opportunities for students to go beyond, as in the first student, and the obligation to provide flexible education to students like Darby who need and deserve it.

He highlighted that what has been known as the “non traditional” student, has become the traditional student, asserting that we need to decide what to do about the non-traditional student. We could ignore them or we can reach out, experiment, innovate, and support an education that is more flexible.

Mitchell dug deeper into the portrait of the “new normal” college student. This student is increasingly first generation, older than 18, will come from a minority group, will be likely to take a more attenuated path (between work in school and work in the for-profit sector). Students will consume higher education in modules- collecting “stackable” coursework over time (Degrees, courses, modules). Enrollment management, then, is not something that ends with a handshake at the end, but rather something that is more continuous. This is a mindset shift.

The new normal student is more likely to attend multiple institutions or consume education from non-traditional sources. We hope that they will come to higher education prepared- that is the hope of the common core.

Mitchell suggests that we all have a part in supporting the new normal student. Institutions will need to lead us and lead the way in creating more customized learned-centered experiences. Institutions should lead the way in developing new assessment tools to determine what students are learning in real-time. They must also help us create more flexible learning environments and lead the way in terms of the competencies that graduates will have when they graduate.

States have their role to play as well. Mitchell commended WICHE for developing regional alliances. We need states to maintain their focus on pre-k through 12 education. They must continue to aim to close the achievement gap and increased graduation rates. We need states to support pre-school programs and to create rigorous annual assessments to allow us to identify the gaps. We need to work with states to provide supports for teachers – and the compensation and recognition that they deserve.
Additionally, as the economy improves, Mitchell said that at the federal level, they believe that states must redouble their investment in higher education to reduce the burden on students and their families.

We need the research and development community to help as well. Social entrepreneurs must develop tools for students to help them track their progress. We need their help develop assessments embedded in learning activities with informative – even predictive- feedback.

Additionally, students must be taught at an early age to own their education. We have a maker moment- we need students to be imaginative and creative in designing their learning.

The federal government has a role as well. It is the obligation of the federal government to take a sharp look at long-term trends to set basic principles and challenges. The President articulated the challenge- high school is not enough- it is time to put money on the table to ensure that every learner has access to a universal, publicly funded, community college experience. This proposal would benefit 9 million students.

Mitchell quotes the president, “Community colleges should be free for those who are willing to work for it.” For us, setting the high bar is an important part of what will be done at a federal level.

The federal government can take an important role in meeting the needs of the new normal students is to support innovation directly. First they know they need to “get their own house in order”. Mitchell noted that we have a deeply engrained view of the age of the college student (18-24)- that needs to change. The data measures (IPEDS) are off- it only captures first time college students. The good news is that they are changing IPEDS, they will be able to capture transfer students in ways they have not been able to before.

Mitchell also describes the difficulties in terms of navigating the financial aid process. They have FAFSA simplification in their sights. He continues by asserting that we need to change the way students repay their loans. As college costs and debts have risen, we need to support students to pay their loans and get on with their lives. Mitchell also holds the federal level accountable for financial aid, suggesting that they need to be more creative with how we calculate and distribute financial aid.

Mitchell described many ways the federal government is supporting innovation directly. They want to scale innovation and change policy to allow for it. They want to build the research base to identify which innovations yield the greatest results.

He also described strategies to scale in the form of college summits that bring schools together to share their best practices and make commitments to what they will do next.

Mitchell suggests that we must move forward quickly and directly in all of these areas. We must be vigilant not to create opportunities only for the few. We must retain and expand our diversity, and create common language around learning. To be the country we aspire to be we must make education available to everyone who wants. Never in our history has the need for education been higher. Mitchell warns, however, that as we become more flexible and innovative, we must not let learning to become superficial or instrumental.

Most fundamentally, we need to make a mindset change. It is time to engineer a higher education system that meets the needs of real students. We must deliver best-in-the-world opportunities to all students.

Mitchell closed by referencing the President’s “Basic Bargain”: If you work hard, you can get in. Citing that effort and merit is the promise of America and the way we deliver on that is to make sure that the education system works for everyone. That, according to Mitchell, must be our shared commitment.

MASTER CLASS I-On Demographics, Education Consortia, and Crossing State Borders

David Longanecker, President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) began his presentation by underscoring his emphasis on collaboration, not competition. He began with a reflection on the saying, “May you live in interesting times” and asked, is this a proverb or a curse? He suggests that it is easier to enjoy a proverb than a curse, but it is what it is, so find a way to enjoy it!

Longanecker asserted that the Competitiveness agenda drives much of state policy. Using data on all degrees (associate or higher), he demonstrated that the US has maintained its investment in education, whereas others have really exploded. He warns that we will lose a great deal of our most highly educated people when the older generations retire. You would like to have your young adult population be more educated than your older adult population, he notes. At the state level, we see only 10 states that have a young adult population that is less well educated than older population, but a number of them are very large states. The West, simply stated, is falling behind. The West is growing while other areas in the country are getting smaller.

Another area of focus is Demographics. We are a country that is very proud of being egalitarian, but if you look at our educational performance levels, we are not. He notes that CO and CA have the largest equity gaps in the country.

Coming out of a major recession, we will see an increasing demand in the West and South for higher education services and it will come entirely from a population that we have historically not served well. In the Midwest and the Northeast, we are going to have empty seats and a reason to want to fill those empty seats. On the contrary, the West and South are not going to be able to fit students into a system that is beyond capacity.

From a Finances perspective, we see that state funding per student has decreased over time. One perspective is that the states have walked away from their obligations. Another way to look at is, however, is that states have remained stagnant while enrollment has gone up precipitously. Most states did lose ground between 2008-2013 in terms of educational appropriations per students.

Longanecker moved into a look at completion percentages. Public universities show 61% of students over 6 years complete their degrees, but only 37% complete community college. He suggests that we must pay attention to that leakage.

Next, Longanecker described the “Completion Agenda- Access to Success”:

  • The President’s Challenge is to have 65% of young adults complete some postsecondary education of value by 2020.
  • Lumina suggests 60% by 2025
  • Complete College America: has 33 states working on a completion agenda.

Longanecker notes that although completion is the goal, there is angst around that. There are a number of people who say we really don’t need to do this “everybody doesn’t need to go to college…” “I didn’t go to college….” Or “It is important for my kids but not their kids”. The evidence, however, says we really do need to get there.

Another argument is: Can we really get there from here? Additonally, faculty voice concerns about whether quality will suffer, emphasizing that we don’t just need credentials, we need credentialed people with the skills to succeed.

The implications are that we have to learn to trust each other much more than we do today. If an institution is accredited, we should accept that the courses and competencies students come with are valid. He cites as an example the issue that students who come one semester short of a degree are told that they must complete a year. Why do we do this? Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) are another area that we need to improve. If we have a legitimate and valid assessment that shows what a student has learned, why wouldn’t we accept that? WICHE offers Passport, another tool that facilitates the opportunity for students to demonstrate their competencies.

Another obligation that we have is to think domestic. We have an obligation to accommodate the students in the United States. We need not think about how we get the wealthiest students in the world into our institutions, but rather how we reach those who have been not been given the opportunity.

Next, Longanecker moved into “Expanding the Concept of the Student” from two perspectives. Looking down toward K-12, he notes that we are reaching down and bringing college to high school students through early learning high schools (the Gates redesign), AP, dual and concurrent enrollment, IB, and CTE. We are also improving preparation through the Common Core. We should, then, have better students to work with. We are reinventing remedial education by focusing support in such a way that will enable students to perform in the college setting.

Looking up, Longanecker describes the low-hanging fruit as the adult learner. Many adults are close to reaching a degree but dropped out (not what we previously thought). We need to get them back in and help them complete their degree. A heavier lift is the “new adult”, or the adult who has not previously attempted higher education at all. States are trying to move these folks into short-term certificate programs that really have a value, as the statistics are clear that it is unlikely that we will move these folks into and through college.

Longanecker moved on to the concept of Student Learning, which he described as the new name of the game. He suggested that readiness has evolved. Faculty has become increasingly accepting to the notion of measuring student learning. Evidence-based practice has caught on in public policy and analytics can support evidence-based practice. There is so much that we can do to assess student learning but it is a huge change in terms of how we do business. We are looking at external validity as opposed to a professor’s measures of student learning. This is a “whopping big change”. We have to ask, what are the roles of teachers, institutions, governing boards, and government? Longanecker warns that if we don’t do something soon, we can be sure that government will, so we need to have these conversations now.

Next, Longanecker addressed competency, describing it as “The New Coin of the Realm”. This goes back to assessment for the student to allow for transfer and articulation. Again, this has to do with trust between institutions. We also must find ways to assess college level learning that has occurred outside of the academy. Using his own daughter as an example, Longanecker described her initial success when challenging a course through evidence gained through CLEP, but she was ultimately denied because she was not a freshman or sophomore. Competency was there, but the opportunity was not.

Next, Longanecker discussed Innovation and Disruption. He cites new providers of degrees through the expansion of the for-profit sector, the expansion of institutions online, the “$10,000 Degrees” in public institutions, Western Governors University’s expansion into multi-state recognitions as examples of as innovative approaches. New providers of courses and services, including MOOCS, single courses through Straighter Line and DreamDegree, Kahn Academy, etc., provide new alternatives. The implication for collaboration is that we must embrace collaboration.

Summing it all up, the way we provide education, who we educate, how we assess etc., is changing, so we must accept the challenge and opportunity and embrace these “interesting times”.

 

MASTER CLASS II-The Common Core and Higher Education

Michael Kirst, Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University and the President of the California State Board of Education, began by describing the Common Core as the boldest initiative to “bring us back together after we split apart”. He notes that K-12 and Higher Education have had times in which they worked more closely together, but as we split apart we created a gap and have lost students. Common Core, he asserts, can overcome the divide between the two sectors.

The goals of the Common Core are fewer, higher, and deeper standards. The Common Core includes fewer standards. It is not a curriculum or an instructional program, but rather a description of what students should know and be able to do. This is important because historically, our math curriculum has been described as a “mile wide and an inch deep”. Common Core cuts back the standards and focuses on what is thought to be the most important for college and career readiness. The “deeper” standards imply much more complex material, synthesis and analysis.

The language within the Common Core serves as an indicator of what the standards attempt to achieve (and are in contrast with previous standards). For example, students are asked to construct, compare, investigate, interpret, justify. The Common Core stresses that students should be able to extend and apply their learning to a wide range of real world problems, including engineering, science, and technology problems.

In California, we see several actions related to Common Core. All segments of postsecondary education have publicly endorsed the Common Core standards. Three public systems are considering using the Common Core 11th grade college readiness assessment for placing students in regular credit courses. The UC system is using Common Core standards for approving high school courses to satisfy admissions requirements. SAT and ACT are revisiting their assessments with Common Core standards as a reference point.

Kirst continues by highlighting collaboration. All segments participate in a working group funded by NGA to revise teacher preparation, college teaching, and student information concerning Common Core. Students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 will receive assessment information on college readiness and universities are considering using the Common Core assessment as one factor in comprehensive admissions decisions.

Kirst continued by outlining specifics related to “Content Readiness” within English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. The most notable differences between this and what we have been doing before is that typically colleges have set their own standards and measures, K-12 lacks information about these standards, and students do not know about the tests or how to prepare for them. In the Smarter Balanced vision, the assessments are designed around agreed upon (Common Core) standards, everyone knows the expectations, and under this model, students address deficiencies in high school.

Kirst concluded by noting that California has had very little push-back on Common Core, but the issues we face are whether our teachers will be ready to teach it. He predicts that it really won’t be implemented in California until 2018, giving us time to work together.

 

AFTERNOON SESSION I: International and Global Education and Student Mobility

Panelists: Dr. Tristian Stobie, Mr. Drew Deutsch, and Mr. Clay Hensley 

Tristian Stobie, Director of Education at Cambridge International Examinations, highlighted trends in international education and student mobility in schools using Cambridge qualifications. Cambridge is in more than 10,000 schools in over 160 countries, with a growth rate of 15% annually. They have had a rapid rise in the number of schools serving indigenous middle/professional classes. English is not their first language but they want bilingualism. More than half of the world’s “international” schools are now based in Asia.

A survey of their graduates revealed that they selected USA as a destination country primarily for two reasons: 1) To attend a university with a good reputation, and 2) Scholarship opportunities. Stobie notes that not only the USA, but also UK, then Canada and Australia are the most popular overseas destinations for students and that US higher education remains prestigious but has increasing competition.

Cambridge is seeing that globalization is encouraging governments to align and integrate national and international curricula. They are looking for local curricula with international comparability and recognition. Stobie notes that they are finding that universities have been accessed through increasingly diverse pathways in many countries. Students are opting for transitional colleges, which are notably prolific in SE Asia. They are finding that some schools, such as in Kazakhstan, are raising the bar in terms of breadth and depth of study- and they are teaching three languages in a STEM-based curriculum. It should be noted that the students go to school for 10 hours a day and have 5 hours of homework! The cultural value of education is amazing. AP credit and scholarship programs are increasingly necessary to provide access to students from the developing world.

Next, Drew Deutsch, Director of International Baccalaureate Americas, shared perspectives related to international education and trends in global student mobility. IB started in 1968 by a small group of international school educators. They had two main goals in mind: 1) Bringing about a better world for education, and 2) To create a graduate recognition that was recognized throughout the world. Now, 45 years later, the goals are the same but IB has since added the middle and primary school programs. In 2012, they introduced and trialed CTE programming.

Deutsch described the diversity of growth they have had and cite a movement in the international school market as a significant contributor. From 2000-2009, the international school market went from 1 million to 2.4 million students. Drivers for growth include renewed interest from nationals, a growing middle class, increase in students who want to study abroad, etc

In the US, 90% of IB programs are offered in the public sector. This is almost exactly the inverse of the rest of the world. Of the IB exams taken in May 2014, 25% were taken by US students who qualified for free or reduced meals. Thus, in the US, students are gaining access to high quality curriculum regardless of personal circumstances.

They anticipate continued growth with larger international partnerships. For Example, IB is working on a partnership that will include one-third of the students in Ecuador. Other initiatives are underway in Peru, Malaysia, and Japan.

Next, Clay Hensley, Senior Director of International Strategy and Outreach at the College Board, shared international trends. Although international student mobility to the US universities continues to increase, recent trends reveal that most of the growth derives from only a handful of source countries. In 2014, there were approximately 370,000 international undergraduate students in the US.

Hensley points to data that shows that global aspirations to study in the US will likely continue to rise, with a particular increase in the Middle East and North Africa. The demand for will, however, continue to be driven by East and South/Central Asia. When parents reach a certain status in mobility in developing countries, they want their children to learn English. As they attain yet a higher status, they want their children to learn in English.

Hensley shared that when he was in high school in 1990, there were 1000 international schools, as compared to the 7,400 that now exist. In additional to the increase, a notable change is the number of for-profit high schools or public high schools with a “school within a school” model. Hensley predicts that international educational landscape is likely to shift toward local schools with nontraditional/hybrid instructional models. Hensley concluded by noting that more US institutions will allocate resources, including financial aid, strategically to attract best-fit international students.

 

AFTERNOON SESSION II: The Age of the Transfer Student

Panelists: Dr. Stephen Handel, Dr. Janet Marling, and Dr. Frank Chong

Stephen Handel, Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Admission for the University of California System, began with a look at The Transfer Moment. He began by reviewing the history of community colleges, noting that their presence on the educational landscape spans three centuries. Four-year and two-year colleges began with a shared partnership, but after time they drifted. Now, however, we are in a “transfer moment”. The transfer moment is an amalgam of events and ideas that come together to reconnect the bond that was established from the start.

The political landscape is focused now on “America’s College Promise Proposal”. In Congress, Community Colleges are one of the few non-partisan issues. Here in California, Governor Brown is promoting the increase of transfer students. He is promoting community college to be the provider of the lower division coursework.

The financial landscape relates to our current economic status. People are seeking community colleges for what they are: value. They can leverage limited resources. The problem, however, is that students aren’t supported well through the pipeline.

The “inevitable” landscape suggests that community colleges welcome low-income, first-generation, and other underrepresented minority students in greater numbers than most 4-year students. In California we use community colleges as a critical part of the access agenda.

Student “Baccalaureate Desire” data shows that kids want to transfer. They want a bachelor’s degree. This applies throughout the age groups. Several studies point to the same trend: first-time students want to transfer and earn the BA degree. In every single decade since community college surveys have been done, this desire holds. Handel suggests that we are not looking at our community college students as future 4-year degree holders, but rather are suspicious about their intentions and even dedication, by virtue of their choosing a community college education.

Next, Frank Chong, President of Santa Rosa Junior College, started by describing the institution. He pointed to the symbolism in their school colors. The college selected blue and cardinal specifically because when they began they aimed to transfer students to Berkeley and Stanford. Currently, 55% of their students how apply to the UC system are accepted from 45% statewide. They pride themselves on a high-quality experience, offering an education that is second to none. Chong highlighted the smaller class sizes and the focus on teaching (rather than publishing or research). Thus, students get a high-quality education that prepares them for transfer. They also have a strong CTE program and adult education programs. Chong described Community Colleges moving from the “step child” to the “golden child” in light of the new political climate and view towards community colleges. Chong continued by sharing success stories of individual students to highlight the power of the junior college experience.

Chong also described “reverse” transfers, or people who hold degrees that have come back to pursue other career paths and interests. This diversity brings a benefit to the campus. He summarized the diversity by stating that the greatest thing about the junior college is that the children of farm owners go to school with the children of farm workers; there are not a lot of institutions that have this kind of economic equity.

Janet Marling, Executive Director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students at the University of North Georgia, continued the conversation with a focus on “The Four-Year Institution Response”. Marling asked the audience to raise their hand if they believe their institution does a good job with transferring students. She then pointed to these individuals as the people who are on the cutting edge. In general, the transfer problem, the leakage, has not been solved. There is great data on how students perform and persist when they arrive at the 4-year college. But the question is: How do we get them there?

According the Marling, the number one thing that has to happen is partnership between the 2 and 4-year institutions. There has not been a great incentive on either side to connect. Some of the promising practices or transformational models include:

  • Transition services: transfer centers, transfer-specific orientations, mentor programs
  • Intentional and intrusive academic advising
    • We can’t assume our transfer students know what questions to ask or understand our vernacular
  • Reverse awarding of the associate’s degree (give credit where credit is due)
  • Intentional recruiting for under-populated or niche majors
  • Bridge programs
  • 2+2 programs

Marling then shared a “Glimpse into the Future: Consolidation” sharing UGA’s multi-path powerhouse. It is an institution that offers certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs. She describes the process of creating this powerhouse as dropping a cannonball into the water, rather than dipping their toes into the water and noted that having internal transfers brings its own set of issues and complexities.

From there, Marling asks us to consider several questions (see PowerPoint), including:

  • Where is transfer reflected in our EM (and institution) mission and strategic plan?
  • What is our institution doing to reduce barriers to transfer success?

She closed by suggesting that transfer can plan an integral role in contributing to an institution’s viability.

 

EVENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS: The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

John Slaughter, Professor of Education and Engineering at USC, began his dinner presentation by commending the group for coming together and working very hard to address the issues that we face in higher education. The students who are entering our universities are very different than all of us when we entered higher education. They come with different goals, needs, theories, etc., and it requires a great deal of sensitivity to support them. Dr. Slaughter emphasized that as we look ahead, we must embrace the future but remember the past.

He reminds us of great quotes:

Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it….

Those who don’t to remember the past are condemned to repeat it…

Dr. Slaughter noted that in the early 1900’s, W.E.B. Du Bois said the problem that America would face is the color line. You could say the same of the 21st Century. Dr. Slaughter cited several incidents that demonstrate to us we have not yet met our egalitarian goals. Slaughter recalled a paper that he wrote about racial discrimination in higher education in which he described the historical struggles people faced when trying to gain admission and access to higher education. Lloyd Gaines, for example, disappeared in March of 1939, just months after the Supreme Court ruled that he must be admitted to the University of Mississippi Law School. Other students had to withdraw due to threats and vitriol they experienced from college communities.

James Meredith had a courageous journey, facing Governor Barnett whose lips, according to Martin Luther King, dripped interposition and nullification. He later went on to integrate Ole Miss and was later shot for leading a 20-mile “March Against Fear.” Slaughter recalls being invited to be a commencement speaker at the University of Mississippi in 1982. He described sitting next to the Chair of the Board of Regents of the University, who was a black dentist. He thought about the change that had occurred over time…what a major transition.

Slaughter stated that is very fitting that this conference would take place the same week as the celebration of the Martin Luther King holiday, shortly after the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Mississippi decision, and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act is part of the momentous events that have contributed to us being able to do the work that we are doing today.

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-act/videos/civil-rights-act-of-1964

Next, Dr. Slaughter described his home state – Kansas. Topeka had segregated elementary schools and he attended Buchanan school. There were 4 junior high schools and one large high school. They were integrated. There were separate athletic teams and social events were segregated. Everything in Topeka, from diners, swimming pools, Woolworth’s, etc., were all segregated. Black people, Dr. Slaughter recalls, were not allowed to frequent those places. His family lived in a neighborhood in which they were the only black family and his friends were all white. They would walk to school together, dropping the white kids off at their school and continuing on to their own. They knew something was wrong, but couldn’t quite put their fingers on it.

Dr. Slaughter spoke of Lucinda Todd, his first cousin who they referred to as Aunt Cindy. She was a member of the Topeka NAACP and was one of the leaders in preparing the city for the Brown case. She was one of the first people to attempt to enroll her daughter in a white school. Oliver Brown was a reluctant plaintiff but Thurgood Marshall felt the case would be stronger if a male was the plaintiff. The Topeka law firm that developed the case was led by the Scott family, who developed the case. Samuel Jackson was an associate of the firm. Topeka was a small town, but they were a leader in the civil rights movement. Samuel Jackson went on to the air force and was later deputy secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Council. Dr. Slaughter continued to share stories of others who came from Topeka and what they went on to do.

Brown. Dr. Slaughter reflected, turned over the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that allowed segregation. The Brown decision said separate is inherently unequal. The south became more tense after the decision. Many public schools became private schools to resist the transition. In Little Rock, President Eisenhower had to send troops to allow 9 black students to enroll. These are a few of the many examples.

July 2nd 1964, Slaughter recalls, we finally had the Civil Rights Act. The long road to passing that involved individuals from all backgrounds and their actions- white, black, sit-ins, freedom rides, etc., all for the purpose of ending segregation and discrimination. This brought to attention the injustices to black Americans and the need for change. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy pledged his support for this Civil Rights Bill, and was shot later in that year. It was up to President Johnson to bring the Bill forward. When he signed it into law 50 years ago, he rightly recognized it as a ground-breaking moment in the history of the United States. Although it did not resolve all of the issues, it was a major change in the course and direction of this country. Dr. Slaughter reminded us of President Johnson’s speech,

We believe that all men are created equal  –  yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty – yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins.

The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand without rancor or hatred how all this happens. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it…

Education was one of the major targets of the Civil Rights Act. Today we need to think of education as a civil right. We are still addressing situations that would have been recognizable to individuals 50 years ago. Our experiences have shown that discrimination continues.

Fifty years after the passage of the Act, there is still a lot of work to do to make education welcoming and accessible to everyone. Martin Luther Kking gave us the words that should give us comfort and purpose as we face the challenges ahead of us: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Dr. Slaughter closed by stating that providing equity should be our abiding goal and we should keep it as our sacred calling.