Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools: Recommendations
Diversity Strategies forSuccessful Schools:Recommendations July 12, 2010
As part of the Diversity Strategies Project, the Kirwan Institute agreed to: Conduct technical appraisal of EEO Policy and evaluate current challenges to integration in Ohio (February – April 2010) Conduct presentations at four regional meetings to obtain feedback from districts on their experience and the principles and strategies that will guide the new State Policy (March - April 2010) Formally present initial findings to the Capacity Committee for directional feedback on crafting Diversity Strategies policy recommendations (State Board Meeting May 10, 2010) Prepare Diversity Strategies Policy recommendations (May- July 2010) Assist ODE staff with the development of a concept paper outlining the Diversity Strategies Webinar (May – July 2010)
Assist ODE staff with the development of a draft policy implementation plan (May- July 2010) With ODE staff, formally present to the full State Board of Education membership the Diversity Strategies Policy recommendations; the Webinar concept paper; and the draft policy implementation plan (State Board Meeting July 13, 2010) Assist ODE staff with the development of the Diversity Strategies Webinar (July – October 2010) Assist ODE staff with the review of Webinar participant feedback and preparation of evaluative summary (November – December 2010) Along with ODE staff, formally present to the full Board membership the evaluative summary of district participation, feedback and possible next steps. (State Board Meeting December 12, 2010)
Educate on building assignment practices in the U.S. Explain the State Board’s intent to provide district with diversity strategies Present findings about the diversity issues and challenges Ohio districts face Present a set of viable diversity strategies for feedback
Section 1 summarizes relevant constitutional provisions and court decisions pertaining to racial segregation in public schools. Section 2 outlines assessment procedures designed to identify schools maintaining de jure or de facto racially segregated schools. Section 3 recommends the following monitoring activities: ◦ Assignment of Pupils, Assignment of Staff, Building and Boundaries, Counseling, Curriculum and Instruction, Discipline, Extracurricular Activities, Funding, Leadership, School Community Relations, Staff Development and Human Relations, Testing, and Transportation of Students
In preparing our recommendations, we wanted to evaluate diversity plans implemented under the 1980 Policy. We reviewed over 60 files held by the ODE from 1998-2001 ◦ Each file contained statistical information of the racial composition of the district and indicated the number of racially isolated schools of that district. These plans were largely statistical in nature, and did not contain detailed evaluative component.
From 1998-99 to 2000-01, 41 school districts responded to ODE’s Racial Isolation Questionnaire ◦ Schools were selected if the district maintained one or more racially isolated school buildings ◦ Responses ranged from candid refusals to take “reasonable action” to submissions of detailed reports and plans ◦ Districts reported the following activities: race-based student assignment plans, race-conscious transfer procedures, inter-district transfer programs, school building closures/openings, re-zoning, grade restructurings, magnet programs, collaborative schools. Others expressed a need to continue the requirements of prior court orders.
Based upon the limited number of files provided, we were unable to determine the full impact of these plans. We administered an electronic survey administered to the 41 school districts soliciting feedback about the efficacy and responses to their plans.
Generally, student assignments to schools other than a student’s neighborhood were supported by school officials. Most districts employed diversity strategies that focused on the staff or building, including multicultural curriculum, staff development and school-community relations.
Update and Revise 1980 Policy to comply with law and reflect 21st century needs Must learn from what is already in place and successful in Ohio Must have flexibility for the varying districts and unique strengths and challenges Need to connect mandates to funding, but be cost-effective
#1) Reaffirm theCommitment to PromotingDiversity & Reducing Racial Isolation
Social: Racial and cultural fluency promotes cross-racial friendships, increases comfort levels, helps break down racial stereotypes, positively impacts attitudes towards students of other racial groups. Educational: Exposure to racially diverse cultural knowledge and social perspectives promotes development of critical and complex thinking skills. Civic: Children with greater cultural fluency live and work in more integrated settings, and have higher levels of civic engagement. 15
Educators and administrators throughout Ohio unequivocally affirmed the value and importance of diversity in the regional meetings. Emphasize the importance of diversity and the harms of racial isolation. Define diversity inclusively to encompass a range of individual, familial, and community characteristics.
The location of a school is the chief determinant of student diversity, and a major determinant of the level of diversity in the district as a whole. Only 1927 schools were opened in 2007-2008 school year in the U.S. New schools influence the levels of diversity in the district for an entire generation.
A new school strategically sited to promote diversity can draw students from racially isolated neighborhoods into a diverse educational environment. A new school sited in a racially isolated neighborhood will not only produce a homogenous student body, but may reduce the overall level of diversity within the district by drawing students from other, more integrated schools.
Unfortunately, more schools are closing than opening, but the same principles apply. Strategic site selection for school openings and closing reduce the need for more elaborate student assignment policies. In considering school sites for opening or closure, this board should require districts to assess the diversity impact as an explicit criteria.
Diverse staff serve as role models for students of color, and have a direct, measureable impact on student achievement. Virtually every district in the state described this as a major challenge. It’s both a pipeline and a retention problem for most districts. Of the 111,000 teachers in the state: 94% white 5% black 0.6% Latino 0.4% Asian
All districts reported significant challenges with respect to professional development and staff support. Many districts reported attempts to prepare teachers for cultural fluency and sensitivity with programs and trainings. At the same time, many districts stated that there were not enough support systems to train and prepare staff for teaching in diverse environments.
Suspensions, expulsions, and arrests are correlated with higher dropout rates. Disparate use of disciplinary policies results in denial of equal educational opportunities for students of color. Thirty years ago, Black students were twice as likely to be suspended as their white counterparts. Today, they are more than three times as likely to be suspended.
Studies show that African-American students are far more likely than their white peers to be suspended, expelled or arrested for the same kind of conduct at school. Students of color also receive longer suspension and expulsions than their White peers for the same behavior. Students of color are also more likely to attend schools that have harsh disciplinary policies and extensive security forces, making them more susceptible to zero-tolerance policies.
According to a recently published study based on ODE data: ◦ Blacks make up 17 percent of Ohio public-school students but receive nearly half of all disciplinary actions. ◦ White students made up nearly 79 percent of public-school enrollment yet accounted for slightly less than half of expulsions, suspensions and in- school discipline. Source: Children’s Defense Fund, http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/0 6/29/blacks-disciplined-most-often-in-schools.html?sid=101
Ohio has often led the way with exemplary magnet programs. Districts throughout the state with experience using magnets attest to their value. The Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts was recognized as a “Blue Ribbon School” by the US Dept. of Ed. The Metro School was so successful that the General Assembly committed $200 million to 9 more STEM programs, 4 of which are Regional (Inter-district).
Magnets (often called ‘alternative’ schools) were a popular alternative to court-ordered busing because they preserved individual choice while achieving integration goals. Today, much (if not most) of the existing school segregation exists between districts, rather than within them. Regional magnets bring students together from across district lines and alleviate these patterns.
Tracking contributes to in-school segregation Lower income students of color are 7x as likely to be in the lowest tracks, and ½ as likely to be in gifted classes Must monitor referral rates & referrers Detracking suggestions: ◦ Provide rigorous teacher/student support ◦ Establish pilot programs
Nationally Recognized 36 states have adopted ASCA Model Programs Comprehensive (RAMP) in Ohio Counseling Programs. •Albert Champman Elementary OSCA has developed a School model for the state of •Powell, OH (2007) Ohio to adopt. •Griffith Thomas Elementary School 1980 diversity policy •Dublin, OH (2007) addresses the foundation •Liberty Center Middle School of CCP but does not •Liberty Center, OH (2006) address implementation, management, or accountability.
◦ Finalize Recommendations Report◦ Draft Policy Implementation Plan Based Upon Board Feedback◦ Online Professional Development Tool Continue to work with ODE to develop, publish, and distribute
Justice Kennedy’s opinion is controlling as the fifth vote. 42
J. Kennedy, Concurring That the school districts consider these plans to be necessary should remind us that our highest aspirations are yet unfulfilled. School districts can seek to reach Brown’s objective of equal educational opportunity. But the solutions mandated by these school districts must themselves be lawful. In my view, the state-mandated racial classifications at issue, official labels proclaiming the race of all personsin a broad class of citizens – elementary school students in one case, high school students in another – are unconstitutional as the cases now come to us.
“If school authorities are concerned that the student- body compositions of certain schools interfere with the objective of offering an equal educational opportunity to all of their students, they are free to devise race- conscious measures to address the problem in a general way without treating each student in a different fashion soley on the basis of systematic, individual typing by race. School boards may pursue the goal of bringing together students of diverse backgrounds and races through other means, including strategic site selection of new schools; drawing attendance zones with general recognition of the demographics of the neighborhoods; allocating resources for special programs; recruiting students and faculty in a targeted fashion; and tracking enrollments, performance, and otherstatistics by race. These mechanisms are race-conscious but do not leadto different treatment based on a classifications that tells each student he or she is to be defined by race. 44