Monthly Digest with Coalition Updates, Must-Read News, and Upcoming Events
Highlights from Our 2017 Convening
On Saturday, June 11th, the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition hosted its 3rd Annual Convening at Lee Montessori Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Over 40 representatives from member schools, including school leaders, teachers, and board members, as well as critical friends and partner organizations came together to share ideas and learn from each other on how to advance diversity, equity, and excellence.
We kicked off our morning with a keynote from two E.L. Haynes Public Charter School students, Kalkidan Haile and Danielle Anani. They provided a powerful reminder of why we do this work, sharing stories of their identity, hopes for the future, and experiences attending a diverse-by-design school. It was the perfect way to set the tone for the remainder of the day. Weaved throughout our programming were opportunities for other attendees to also share their own stories of self– who they are and why they do this work.
Verta Maloney led the first session of the day, which engaged attendees in the central conversation of our work, racism in education. Together we took just a small step towards addressing individual and institutional racism in our schools and our country. This is work all Coalition schools are deeply engaged in and we plan to continue to help facilitate these conversations at future convenings and beyond.
We live in a time where race is often not explicitly talked about in school settings, however, it remains a silent and constant factor in the work of school leaders and educators. One of the first steps towards acknowledging and eventually addressing race in schools and classrooms is talking about it. One conversation at a time, we can find our way towards action. Conversations about race need to be audacious. Conversations about race need to be focused on personal awareness, personal growth, historical contexts and implications and then ultimately action.
We recognize that Coalition members are our greatest assets. To tap into our own community’s wealth of knowledge, we came together in small groups so that member schools could engage their peers on a specific challenge they are grappling with in their school and/or community. In addition to these “problems of practice” consultancies, member schools shared breakthrough ideas, best practices and exciting pathways that have led to student success. These included:
- Building Strong Staff Development for Diversity Work in Schools (Community Roots)
- Creating a Diverse Student Population: Recruitment Strategies (Brooklyn Prospect)
- The Intersection Of “Deeper Learning” And Diverse School Models (City Charter Schools)
- How Real Is Your Class? – Designing through a Culturally Relevant Lens (High Tech High)
We also welcomed four partner organizations to lead discussions on pertinent issues, including building and sustaining effective: charter boards, advocacy agenda, and parent engagement, advocacy, and organizing strategies. We ended the day with a presentation by Bellwether Partners on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of education. There is no doubt we have a lot of work to do to continue to be exemplars of diversity and to make our schools and sector champions for diversity and inclusion. We know too that you are ready to meet the challenge. We are already hard at work planning our next convening. Be on the lookout for a “Save the Date.” We can’t wait to see you!
2017 School Award Winners
As part of our inaugural awards ceremony at our Convening, we had the pleasure of honoring Blackstone Valley Prep with the School of the Year award for best exemplifying the Coalition’s values. The Coalition also awarded Valor Collegiate as the Best Newcomer School and the International School of Louisiana with the Achievement Gap Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to successfully closing achievement gaps. Read more about each school here.
Sustaining the Coalition’s Work
In 2014, fourteen schools came together with a vision to create a coalition that would represent and support “diverse-by-design” public charter schools. We are excited to announce that the Coalition has secured funding for the next two years to build on that vision — to promote, sustain, and grow our membership of intentionally diverse public charter schools. Official press release forthcoming.
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Big Picture Learning’s Big Bang International Conference on Student-Centered Learning
July 25th to July 29th in St. Louis, Missouri
Every year, hundreds of educators, advocates and thought leaders from all over the world come together at Big Bang – Big Picture Learning’s International Conference on Student-Centered Learning. There they convene with the most important component of authentic, student-centered learning: Students. Students are always at the center of Big Bang. Not just in theory, but in practice. You see, we believe that in order to have discussions about the future of student-centered learning, it is essential that students themselves play a key role; not just as attendees, but as designers, presenters, and leaders. Thanks to the generous support of a number of sponsors, over 50 students were able to attend Big Bang 2016. Attendees travel the conference in advisories, allowing them to form close bonds with a core group of students, educators, and advocates from across the world. We invite those passionate about student-centered learning-whether part of the Big Picture Learning network or not to be part of the Big Bang experience.
Upcoming 2017 Integration Convenings held by the National Coalition on School Diversity or a partner organization
More information here
- Reimagining Education: Teaching and Learning in Racially Diverse Schools (July 17-21)
- IntegrateUS 2017 Summer Institute: Building a National Movement of Youth Leaders for Integration (August 2-5)
- A Struggle We Must Win: Advancing School Integration through Activism, Youth Voice, and Policy Reform (October 19-20)
10th Annual National Summit on Education Reform
November 29th to December 1st in Nashville Tennessee
Join national leaders, state policymakers, advocacy organizations and education stakeholders from across the country at the 10th annual National Summit on Education Reform to learn, network and share the latest strategies that are improving the quality of education for America’s children.
Letter: Sonia C. Park: Blackstone Valley Prep shows way for other R.I. schools
Providence Journal — June 29, 2017
Editorial: Another attack on excellence
Providence Journal — June 24, 2017
GOP Health Care Proposals: What Educators Should Know by Alyson Klein
EdWeek — June 22, 2017
School Segregation Is Getting Worse As Wealthier, Whiter Areas Form Splinter Districts by Alexander Nazaryan
Newsweek — June 21, 2017
How Dallas Is Working to Diversify Its Schools Both Racially and Socioeconomically by Tanasia Kenney
Atlanta Black Star — June 21, 2017
Dallas Schools, Long Segregated, Charge Forward on Diversity By Dana Goldstein
New York Times — June 19, 2017
NYC Charters Are Leading the Way on School Integration by Charles Sahm
The 74 Million — June 14, 2017
A Manhattan District Where School Choice Amounts to Segregation by Kate Taylor
New York TImes — June 7, 2017
The country’s largest school system — and one of the most segregated — just released its ‘school diversity’ plan. Here are the highlights by Christina Veiga
Chalkbeat — June 6, 2017
National Charter School Resource Center: English Learners and Students with Disabilities Resources
When and How Do Students Benefit From Ethnic Diversity in Middle School?
A study by University of California Los Angeles researchers published in the journal Child Development finds that students who attend more racially- and ethnically-diverse schools report less vulnerability, loneliness, insecurity and bullying.
Southern Schools: More Than a Half-Century After the Civil Rights Revolution
This report by Civil Rights Project at UCLA and the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State finds intense segregation of Black and Latino students in the South with charter schools more segregated for Black and Latino Students. Segregation in the South is double segregation for blacks and Latinos, meaning that they are in schools segregated both by race and by poverty in a region where the share of students poor enough to receive free or subsidized lunches has soared to nearly 60% of all students. Both segregation by race and poverty, research shows, are systematically linked to weaker opportunities and student outcomes.
Hebrew Public Charter Schools for Global Citizens
Community Relations and Student Recruitment Manager