Mission Statement and History of CDEE

As its name suggests, CDEE, the Center for Diversity and Equality in Education, is committed to carrying out high quality and independent research, policy analysis and advocacy to promote the twin values of diversity and equality in the public schools of New Jersey and the rest of the nation. Its goal is to participate actively and directly in changing the lived reality for students, not just to provide research and policy analysis to enable others to do so.

Although CDEE is a new non-profit entity established by Professor Paul Tractenberg in January 2016, it builds upon a long history and a rich legacy. Its most direct antecedent is the Institute on Education Law and Policy at Rutgers-Newark (IELP) established by Professor Tractenberg in September 2000, and directed or co-directed by him until December 31, 2015 when he retired from full-time teaching at Rutgers Law School in Newark and became a professor emeritus. Indeed, CDEE’s signature project, the one focused on the Morris School District, was launched under the auspices of IELP and still has some Rutgers connections.

Of course, the roots of CDEE are much deeper than that. Ever since he joined the Rutgers Law School faculty in July 1970, Professor Tractenberg’s professional life has been focused on using high quality research, policy analysis and advocacy to improve the educational opportunities of New Jersey’s and the nation’s at-risk students, especially those living in poor urban school districts. His two primary focal points have been equalizing the funding of those urban school districts and desegregating the schools in whatever ways could feasibly work, including district consolidation.

In the case of the former, Professor Tractenberg has been involved in New Jersey’s almost five decade long effort in the courts through Abbott v. Burke and, before that, Robinson v. Cahill. Early in that effort in 1973, Professor Tractenberg established and was the first director of the Education Law Center, which has represented the student plaintiffs in Abbott since the case was initiated in 1981.

In the case of school desegregation, Professor Tractenberg has considered the 1971 decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Jenkins v. Morris Township School District, which paved the way to the merger of the Morris Township and Morristown districts, to be a decision of enormous importance.  Ever since then, he has wanted to launch a project studying the history, evolution, current status, and larger impact of that merger. CDEE’s Morris Project is the realization of that desire. Earlier, between 1985 and 2002, Professor Tractenberg sought, with considerable success, to apply Jenkins to the case involving the Englewood, Englewood Cliffs and Tenafly school districts.

Since CDEE was established, it has been fortunate to receive generous financial support from the Fund for New Jersey, the Ford Foundation, the Morris Educational Foundation, the Mills Foundation and a number of individual donors. The Center's fiscal sponsor is Save Our Schools New Jersey. It has been fortunate in another respect—the ability to engage highly qualified and deeply motivated staff including an experienced lawyer, education faculty, several post-doctoral and doctoral students, and a corps of law students.

 
 
 
 

Our Supporters

 

                                           Mills Foundation

 
 

          Individual Donors

 

Center for Diversity and Equality in Education

 

 
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Paul Tractenberg is professor emeritus at Rutgers Law School and president of the Center for Diversity and Equality in Education; tractnbg@law.rutgers.edu . In 1973, he established and was first director of the Education Law Center, the public interest law center that has represented urban students in New Jersey’s landmark Abbott v. Burke case. In 2000, Tractenberg established the Institute on Education Law and Policy, a research center at Rutgers-Newark, and was its director until his retirement from the university on January 1, 2016. Tractenberg is widely known as New Jersey’s “dean” of education law and policy.   

Recent Publications

OP-ED: CHRISTIE’S ‘FAIRNESS FORMULA’ VERSUS SWEENEY’S ‘FORMULA 4 SUCCESS’ by Paul Tractenberg, July 11, 2016.

PODCAST: IS ABBOTT DEAD? SCHOOL REFORM AND FUNDING IN THE CITIES, December 28, 2015.

OP-ED: STATE BOARD PLAYS CENTRAL ROLE IN RESTORING LOCAL CONTROL IN NEWARK by Paul Tractenberg, July 7, 2015.

NEW JERSEY'S APARTHEID AND INTENSELY SEGREGATED URBAN SCHOOLS, OCTOBER, 2013.

A STATUS QUO OF SEGREGATION: RACIAL AND ECONOMIC IMBALANCE IN NEW JERSEY SCHOOLS, 1989-2010, John Kucsera, Gary Orfield, Jennifer Ayscue, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, October, 2013.

A TALE OF TWO DEEPLY DIVIDED NJ PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS by Paul Tractenberg, December 31, 2013.

 
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Allison Roda is an assistant professor of education in the Molloy College Ed.D. program Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities; aroda@molloy.edu. Roda’s research and teaching interests are focused on urban education policy, educational stratification, families and schools, and qualitative research methods. She is the author of Inequality in Gifted and Talented Programs: Parental Choices About Status, School Opportunity, and Second-Generation Segregation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Roda’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Education, the Journal of Education Policy, and Quartz. Her works have also been published by the Century Foundation and the Hechinger Report. She received her Ph.D. in sociology and education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

 
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Ryan W. Coughlan is an instructor of sociology at Guttman Community College (CUNY) and a doctoral candidate in Urban Systems at Rutgers University, Newark; ryan.coughlan@guttman.cuny.edu. He is coeditor of Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader (2015) and “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: Progressive Education in the 21st Century (2016). His research uses geospatial statistical methods to study school zoning practices, patterns of school segregation, social processes at a neighborhood level, and educational outcomes.

Recent Publications

Schools of Tomorrow, Schools of Today:  Progressive Education in the 21st Century- Second Edition, Edited by Alan R. Sadovnik, Susan Semel, and Ryan W. Coughlan, 2016.

Leaders in the Sociology of Education, Intellectual Self-Portraits, 2016

Sociology of Education:  A Critical Reader, 3rd Edition, Edited by Alan R. Sadovnik and Ryan W. Coughlan, 2015.

 

Staff: Deirdre Dougherty, Sarah Blaine, Nicole Espin Sarah Matchett and Farah Rahaman.

Morris Project Advisory Council

"A distinguished advisory council for the Morris Project was formed in November 2015 and had a half-day meeting at the Ford Foundation in December 2015." The following agreed to participate although not all were able to attend that meeting:

 

Elise Boddie, Professor of Law - Rutgers University-Newark

Eddie Fergus, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy - New York University

Ariana Mangual Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Education - Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor - CUNY Graduate Center

 

 

 

 

 

Erica Frankenberg, Associate Professor of Education - The Pennsylvania State University

Fred Frelow, Education and Scholarship Program Officer - Ford Foundation

Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow - The Century Foundation

Patrick McGuinn, Associate Professor of Education - Drew University

 

Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education - University of California, Los Angeles

Gary Orfield, Professor of education, law, political science and urban planning - University of California, Los Angeles 

Marc Pfeiffer, Assistant Director - Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Halley Potter, Fellow - The Century Foundation

 

 

Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology and   Education - Teachers College at Columbia University