Diversity Roundup: Feds to Monitor Discipline of Black Students in Oakland, Calif., Schools

Are Race-Neutral Admissions Policies Working? University admissions policies that use race-neutral processes have made positive gains in minority representation in the schools, according to a new study, the Associated Press reports. The analysis examined several of the nine schools that have banned the use of affirmative action in its admissions policies and found that a combination of outreach, de-emphasizing standardized tests and class-based considerations has helped. Critics of the study maintain the race-neutral policies are largely unsuccessful.

Feds to Monitor Discipline of Black Students in Oakland, Calif., Schools: District officials will allow federal officials to monitor discipline policies of its black students, an agreement that comes after the Education Department's investigation into whether African-American students were disproportionately disciplined, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Continues to See Low Birth Rates: Birth rates in the U.S. fell for the fourth consecutive year, largely because of a steep decline in Hispanic births and low birth rates among teens, the Huffington Post reports. The low birth rate is attributed to the weak economy, but analysts note that the decline in 2011 was just 1 percent, compared to 2 to 3 percent over other years, signaling a possible improvement.