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 WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Lingering racism and segregation of students by perceived ability will retard the United States' economic development, foment domestic unrest and breed despair unless Americans seize on racial and ethnic diversity as competitive advantages, according to a representative of the Common Destiny Alliance (CODA), a year-old coalition meeting here Sept. 9-11, 1992, at the Washington Court Hotel.
 "Our racial and ethnic diversity is an unused resource," said Willis Hawley, director of the Center for Education and Human Development Policy, "but there is a way to turn that diversity to America's advantage." The center for Education and Human Development Policy at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies coordinates the 19-member CODA.
 CODA members believe the nation must address these facts:
 -- The number of people from diverse races and ethnic groups is rising rapidly in the United States.
 -- The concentration of poverty and related health and social problems among people of color is increasing.
 -- The changing character of jobs in America requires a higher level of cognitive skills to earn a decent living, and these changes in the economy are placing greater demands on the ability of people to collaborate in productive ways.
 -- As our economy becomes more interdependent with other nations, it is increasingly vital that we use our diversity to improve intercultural communication and cooperation.
 Tracking, assigning students to a curricular track based on perceived ability, often results in sorting or separating students based on racial, ethnic and socio-economic differences within our schools, according to a CODA document. That isolation affects the ability and motivation of persons of color to persist in and fully profit from their formal education and be fully productive in the work force. And racial isolation in our nation's educational institutions perpetuates separation in our neighborhoods and prejudice and discrimination in the work force. Discrimination reduces the nation's economic growth and encourages antisocial behavior.
 The September CODA conference, "Realizing Our Nation's Diversity as an Opportunity: Alternatives to Sorting America's Children," will highlight research related to the consequences of sorting practices and will promote workshops that demonstrate ways in which students from diverse racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds can learn with and from one another. Educators engaged in effectively implementing these strategies will describe what they are doing and share both the challenges and the rewards of their programs.
 Researchers scheduled to participate in the conference include JoMills Braddock, professor of sociology, University of Miami; Edgar Epps, professor of education, University of Chicago; Douglas Fuchs, professor of special education, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University; and Susana Navarro, director of the Southwest Center for Academic Excellence, University of Texas, El Paso. Other featured presenters include Jeannie Oakes, professor of education, University of California at Los Angeles; Robert Slavin, professor of psychology, Johns Hopkins University; and Anne Wheelock, research associate, Massachusetts Advocacy Center.
 Nationally prominent leaders in efforts to improve America's schools will focus attention on our common destiny and why overcoming the in- school barriers to achieving this goal is essential to the nation's well-being.
 CODA partners include: American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education; American Association of School Administrators; American Council of Education; American Federation of Teachers; Center for Bilingual and Bicultural Education; The College Board; The Council of Chief State School Officers; Intercultural Development Research Associates; Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law; Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy, Inc.; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Association of Human Rights Workers; National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language; National Center for Research on Education and Student Testing; National Center for Research on Education of the Disadvantaged; National Education Association; National Fair Housing Alliance; National Urban Alliance; The School Restructuring Project (of the Panasonic Foundation); and Southern Education Foundation.
 September 9-11, 1992
 Washington Court Hotel
 Schedule of Events
 Wednesday, Sept. 9
 10:00 a.m. Registration
 2:00 p.m. "Why Tracking and Ability Grouping Must End: Achieving
 Excellence and Equity in American Education"
 Research synthesis presented by JoMills Braddock,
 University of Miami, and Robert Slavin, Johns Hopkins
 Panel Response: Common Destiny Alliance partners
 (Center Ballroom)
 4:00 p.m. Discussion sessions on research on the consequences
 and alternatives to sorting practices.
 (Hermitage, Ashlawn, Montpelier and Ballroom West)
 5:30 p.m. Reception
 (Ballroom East)
 Thursday, Sept. 10
 8:30 a.m. "More Than Meets the Eye: Links Between Tracking and
 the Culture of American Schools"
 Jeannie Oakes, University of California, Los Angeles
 Facilitators: JoMills Braddock, Willis Hawley and
 Robert Slavin
 (Center Ballroom)
 10:00 a.m. Effective Practice Overview Panels
 Moderator: Alma Clayton-Pedersen, Vanderbilt
 (Center Ballroom)
 Noon The Transforming of America's Public Schools:
 Providing Access to Equity and Academic Excellence
 Peter Negroni, Superintendent, Springfield (Mass.)
 Public Schools
 (East Ballroom)
 1:45 p.m. Effective Practice Workshops
 -- Early Childhood Gifted Model Program: Montgomery
 Knolls Elementary School (Silver Springs, Md.) --
 Hermitage Room
 -- Student Team Learning: Carmen Arace Middle School
 (Bloomfield, Conn.) -- Montpelier Room
 -- Shared Decision Making, Immersion and "Community
 of Friends": Crete Monee Junior High School
 (Crete, Ill.) -- Ashlawn Room
 -- Advancement by Individual Determination (AVID):
 San Diego County Office of Education (San Diego,
 Calif.) -- Ballroom West
 3:30 p.m. Effective Practice Workshops
 -- "Success for All": M.J. Abbett Elementary School
 (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) -- Hermitage Room
 -- Accelerated Middle School, Pre-International
 Baccalaureate Program, Project Access, Project Equity,
 and Success Team School: Burnett Academy (San Jose,
 Calif.) -- Ballroom West
 -- Tutorials, Blending and Outcomes-Based Measurement:
 Parkway South High School (Manchester, Mo.) --
 Montpelier Room
 -- Team Teaching, Heterogeneous Grouping, Advising and
 Parent Communication: J.B. Castle High School
 (Kaneohe, Hawaii) -- Ashlawn Room
 Friday, Sept. 11
 8:30 a.m. "Our Common Destiny in Better Race Relations"
 Mary Futrell, Quality Education for Minorities
 (Center Ballroom)
 9:30 a.m. Effective Practice Workshops
 -- Two-way Bi-lingual Program, Cooperative Learning
 Strategies and Democratic Discipline: La Escuela
 Fratney (Milwaukee, Wisc.) -- Montpelier Room
 -- Interdisciplinary Teaching Teams and Cooperative
 Learning Groups, Willard Junior High School (Berkeley,
 Calif) -- Ashlawn Room
 -- Curriculum-Based Management: Eakin Elementary
 School (Nashville, Tenn.) -- Hermitage Room
 -- "Ways of Learning:" Louis Armstrong Middle School
 (East Elmhurst, N.Y.) -- Center Ballroom
 -- "Essential Schools Program:" Walbrook Senior High
 School (Baltimore, Md.) -- Ballroom West
 11:00 a.m. "Practical Strategies for Implementation"
 Edgar Epps, University of Chicago and former member
 of the Chicago School Board
 Sarah Skidmore, teacher, Parkway South High School,
 Manchester, Mo.
 J.T. Crawford, principal, Crete-Monee Junior High
 School, Crete, Ill.
 Antoinette Savazza, chief, School Improvement and
 Program Enrichment, Maryland State Department of
 Moderator: Anne Wheelock, Massachusetts Advocacy
 (Ballroom West)
 -0- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Jean P. Moore, Office of News and Public Affairs, Vanderbilt University, 615-322-2706/ CO: Common Destiny Alliance ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

CM -- CH002 -- 5834 09/02/92 10:35 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1992

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