New York, NY, June 15, 2011 … Citing a "racial and ethnic achievement gap in our public schools that cannot be ignored," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today announced the formation of an agency-wide task force to provide recommendations on how the League can have the most impact in influencing public policy in the area of education equity.
The League's Task Force on Education Equity, comprised of staff and lay leaders from the League's 30 regional offices across the United States, will actively look for ways ADL can contribute to improving the nation's public schools.
"It is fair to say that education equity is one of the major civil rights issues of our time, and with our expertise in both civil rights and education, the Anti-Defamation League is well-suited to have a voice on this issue," said Abraham H. Foxman,ADL National Director. "Given our longstanding commitment to fostering a level playing field, we need to be at the table when major policy questions are being debated about how to address this ongoing challenge."
The task force was announced at a meeting of the League's National Executive Committee in New York City on June 6, where Columbia Professor Michael Rebell presented an overview of the issues and conditions that contribute to racial and achievement disparities in public schools.
In announcing the task force, Mr. Foxman noted: "It has been 57 years since the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and yet American schools are still substantially segregated. He added: "The quality of public education varies widely from state to state, and community to community. There is a racial and ethnic achievement gap in our public schools that cannot be ignored."
Historically, the League has been an outspoken advocate on issues of education equity. The League participated as amicus in many of the seminal cases – not just Brown v. Board of Education, but also the 1973 case San Antonio v. Rodriguez, the 2006 case Parents Involved v. Seattle and many others.
The ADL Task Force will be led by Elizabeth Price, an ADL National Commissioner from Atlanta, where she also serves as ADL's Atlanta Regional Board Chair.