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CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS MEET WITH DUNCAN, BARNES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A meeting today between Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes and the leaders of several leading civil rights groups regarding the administration's education reform efforts has led to a deeper understanding and meaningful dialogue, the leaders said. 

The leaders said the meeting clarified several issues of agreement with the Obama Administration, and broadened understanding among the parties. The Secretary and the leaders agreed to strengthen the ongoing dialogue, they said.

The discussions are centered around the leaders' recommendations for reform that would guarantee equal educational opportunities for students in every community in the nation.  The leaders said they look forward to Secretary Duncan's presentation Wednesday at the National Urban League's Centennial Conference, and President Obama's speech on educational reform at the Conference on Thursday.

The coalition of civil rights groups includes:
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Council for Educating Black Children
National Urban League
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Schott Foundation for Public Education
National Council on Educating Black Children

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous was not present at the meeting due to travel.

The leaders called the discussion productive. While there remain items for further discussion, they said they are confident that with the strength of the civil rights community's thought leadership as well as the administration's committment to equal opportunity, a reform plan can be developed that will provide a high quality education for all students.

Practical Progressive - Official Selection 2008