Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Department of Education Releases Guide to Diversifying Schools

Former Secretary of Education John King said the Department would work until the last moment, as it had important work still to do.  January 19th, 2017 did not disappoint.  The Department released a guide for improving diversity in public schools.  The introduction states:

This brief provides information to support school districts and stakeholders seeking to improve student diversity in their schools through voluntary, community-led programs as part of an overall effort to increase equity and excellence for all students. Diversity can include many factors, such as race, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, and language proficiency. What follows is an action-oriented summary of considerations when embarking on efforts to increase student diversity, starting with possible steps to consider when conducting a diversity needs assessment and planning for implementation. Potential diversity strategies and a few examples from the field are included, as well as thoughts on efforts to sustain an inclusive environment once diversity strategies are being implemented.

The guide goes through the nuts and bolts of data collection, decision making, and funding for diversity programs--the basic things a school needs to look at to determine what is or is not necessary.  It then focuses on five specific types of programs and policies that schools can use to diversify: magnet schools; controlled choice; open enrollment; high-quality charter schools.  The guide also offers suggestions for maintaining an inclusive environment in diverse schools: culturally relevant instruction, detracking/expanding access to advanced coursework within schools; diversifying the teacher workforce; and teacher development.

There is nothing particularly new in the document, but it offers good resources and a strong vote of confidence for districts considering positive changes.

Get the full report here.

Federal policy, Racial Integration and Diversity | Permalink


Hi Derek,

This caught my eye because I find it unfortunate that in 2016 we still have so many public schools that are either basically all-white or all-black, and I think that too often we all say we want more diversity without outlining a plan to make it happen. 'Diversity' of course extends beyond race, but the aforementioned example came to mind first. Do you think King's plan will be a success? I learned about tracking in a class and I know that fighting that process is a strong start. I will be interested to see how this plays out!


Posted by: Hayden Vick | Feb 6, 2017 8:45:34 PM

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