Sonia Park, Executive Director
“Unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever begin to live together.”
Diverse Charter Schools Coalition’s vision is that an ever-growing number of American public schools will embody the diversity of our nation’s people – across race, socioeconomic status, language, and abilities- while preparing children to become future leaders in an increasingly diverse and polarized country. Yet American schools are more racially segregated in 2021 than in the 1970s. Now an emerging force of leaders, teachers, and communities seeks to counter segregation and advance equity by establishing Diverse-by-Design (DbD) charter schools.
At the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition (DCSC), we support, expand, and promote the work of these leaders and schools. We seek to increase our impact by sustaining, growing, and creating diverse-by-design schools – representing a membership base that currently collectively serves 80,000 students.
Our members, along with schools across the country, continued to face prolonged challenges of the pandemic. DCSC provides a network and support system to navigate these times. We know that now more than ever, students benefit from diverse schools that offer an intentional community.
We are the only national coalition of diverse-by-design school leaders who collaborate on shared strategies to achieve equity and inclusion. Led by a majority people of color staff and board (read more about our journey here), our coalition supports, expands and promotes inclusive, anti-racist schools designed to benefit all students. DCSC’s membership has grown from 14 founding member schools in 2014 to over 75 member schools and networks and growing.
- 218 member schools serving over 80,000 students in 21 states and D.C.
- 80% of our member schools’ students outperformed their neighborhood district in English Language Arts, and 82% of our member schools’ students outperformed their neighborhood district in math.
- 78 Net Promoter Score
- 5x increase in members since founding in 2014
- 5 member-developed toolkits for the field
- 8 new Diverse-by-Design schools, creating 8,500 new seats at full scale
- Featured in media outlets including Fordham Institute, Teacher’s College, U.S. News & World Report, CharterFolk, Washington Examiner, and Education Post.
Now we’re ready to build on our track record and increase our impact with a three-pronged approach to Support, Expand and Promote the Diverse-by-Design school movement.
As you read through our program highlights from this past year you will be able to see what our plans are for the next phase of our growth.
We’re excited to be on this journey with you. Please reach out to share your thoughts.
Director of Data & Evaluation
Managing Program Director
Program Manager, Membership Engagement
- Dr. Chanel Hampton, Founder and CEO, Strategic Community Partners
- Derrick Johnson, Founder, Edustory
- Ebonie Durham, Senior Director of Network Operations, Noble Network of Charter Schools
- Halley Potter, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
- Dr. Kristina Kyles-Smith, Executive Director, Two Rivers Public Charter School
- Mike Chalupa, Director, City Neighbors Foundation
- Michael DeMatteo, Chief Operating Officer, Blackstone Valley Prep
- Rhonda Broussard, Founder and CEO, Beloved Community
- Ron Rice, Senior Director, Government Relations, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
- Veronica Brooks-Uy, Vice President, Policy, National Association of Charter School Authorizers
We accomplish more together when we build trusting, collaborative, and honest relationships with one another and with our members to foster/create integrated schools. By creating strong relationships with each other, members, and partners, we hold ourselves accountable to our mission.
We honor the hard work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools while acknowledging that it requires system-level disruption. We set ambitious goals to dismantle systemic racism, oppression, and marginalization and work with other individuals and organizations to challenge the status quo.
We maintain a sense of humility and curiosity. We listen to and learn from each other while centering on the people directly affected by the challenges of creating school integration, equitable achievement, and inclusive school environments.
We select how we use our time, resources, and energy. We acknowledge that systems of oppression are stubbornly and have calcified over many years so our work towards dismantling systems of racism requires an approach that includes multiple perspectives and complicity.
Our membership represents over 200 individual Diverse-by-Design schools serving over 80,000 students. Our application process is designed to find schools and networks that are committed to recruiting, enrolling, and serving a diverse and integrated school community reflective of their broader community.
Schools that look to join the coalition are ones that demonstrate thoughtful work to promote high academic outcomes for students of all backgrounds; hire and train a diverse group of teachers and leaders; create a school culture in which all students and families feel welcomed, respected, and included; and confront institutional racism. We’ve made our membership application process more transparent by placing it on our website.
We see school integration as ongoing work. Our member schools don’t have all the answers; rather, we seek members that are reflective about their own strengths and challenges in the areas outlined above and are committed to striving to improve their efforts and outcomes along with other DCSC members with respect to diversity and equity.
We are pleased to share the members who joined us in 2021.
These Diverse-by-Design schools hail from 8 states and represent almost 4,000 students. Their commitment to diversity is reflected in their enrollment patterns and they share a vision for an equitable and inclusive education.
|Promote||Participate in NYC School Diversity Advisory Group Report Release||Partner with Brooklyn Prospect to place 74 Million Article||Post COVID-19 reports |
Learn about pandemic impacts in member schools
|Release Communities of Practice Tools such as You Belong Here Toolkit.|
|Expand||Los Angeles Excellent School Visits||DC Excellent School Visits|
New York Excellent School Visits
Inducted 4 new members into the coalition
|Select Cohort 3 Fellows||Cohort 2 Capstone
Cohort 3 Kick-Off
Inducted 5 new members into the coalition
|Support||Kick-off Year 1 of Communities of Practice||Host Annual Convening||Year 2 CoP Facilitator and Participant Recruitment and Selection||Kick off Annual Convening Planning Committee|
DCSC members are developing inclusive, anti-racist schools designed to benefit all students. Leaders say they can’t do it alone. DCSC listens. We have a proven track record of designing high-leverage ways for members to connect, learn, and develop the next generation of tools and strategies for diverse school communities.
Check out one of DCSC’s 60+ members to see how we promote, expand, and support the work of diverse-by-design schools across the country.
Grades K-12 | IB model | Founded 2009
DCSC member since 2014 | 5 schools | 982 students
Prospect was DCSC’s most engaged member in the past year. The network participated in every DCSC program, presenting at our annual convening, leading a Community of Practice, and even serving on DCSC’s Board of Directors. Prospect has a strong academic track record and continues to expand its footprint to provide more Diverse-by-Design seats in New York City and beyond.
Yu Ming Charter School
Grades K-7 | Language immersion | Founded 2010
DCSC member since 2018 | 353 students
Being a recipient of the Blue Ribbon Award from the Department of Education, Yu Ming is consistently raising the bar on the level of education it provides its students. Yu Ming’s self-reflective approach had them lean in on learning more about the trauma of racism and is working with DCSC partners Roots ConnectED and Transcend about new student-facing offerings and materials for kids. In partnership with DCSC member Valor Collegiate’s Compass program, Yu Ming has implemented a curriculum to support student development in social-emotional competencies, while integrating its roll-out into routine staff development.
By selecting and honoring a Member of the Year, we hope that all members feel excitement for learning from an exemplar in Diverse-by-Design school leadership and that members celebrate the value of being part of the DCSC network, with increased enthusiasm around participation and collaboration.
Theory of Change
- Gathers groups of facilitators, participants
- Ensures quality experience and
- Supports facilitators to develop a resource
Then DCSC members will:
- Connect as leaders across DCSC’s intentionally integrated member schools, so that practitioners can share experiences and build relationships.
- Grow expertise in how they iterate upon best practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion to support all students.
- Bring justice to education through developing tools for the field that disrupt the persisting status quo of racial and social inequality in schools.
Fast Facts from 2021
- 79 participants, 59% identify as a person of color
- 28 member schools represented
- 5 best in class resources for DbD schools developed by participants through this program viewed almost 8000 times on our website
- Participants reported stretching their thinking and implementation in 3 out of every 4 sessions
- 100% of audiences found the tools developed to be:
Justice- and equity-oriented
Applicable in the coming school year
Worth sharing with colleagues
“Two Rivers’ participation in the ‘Got Justice?’ Community of Practice provided us opportunities both to learn about approaches to discipline that create more equitable outcomes for students and to share the practices we are finding success around at our schools. In addition, we were able to collaborate in the creation of a tool for considering how to ground change management in data and the needs of each unique school community.”
Jeff Heyck-Williams, Director, Two Rivers Public Charter School Learning Institute Network, Washington, DC
Goal for 21-24
We will double the number of Communities of Practice participants and increase 4x the number of open-sourced anti-racist tools from 5 to 20 by the end of 2024.
Theory of Change
- Identifies the right fellow and hosts school matches
- Tailors a unique fellowship experience
- Provides access to experts and resources
- Exposes fellows to exemplary diverse-by-design models and
- Provides best in class 1:1 and group coaching
Then Fellows will be able to:
- Articulate best practices of diverse-by-design education
- Demonstrate growth, humility, self-awareness, and critical thinking
- Be equipped to successfully launch a new diverse-by-design school that leads to student results within a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture
Fast Facts to Date
- 18 fellows, 56% identify as a person of color
- 4 cohorts
- 8 new Diverse-by-Design school with 8590 seats when at capacity
- Pilot Explorer program
“Because of my Excellent School Visit to Two Rivers, I was able to take concrete steps toward building the culture and community Detroit Prep needed in our new Upper School. They shared intentional structures which are helping our students build their leadership skills while also helping them contribute to a positive learning community at a Diverse-by-Design school.”
Mallory Fiske, Director of Upper School, Detroit Prep, Detroit, MI
Goal for 21-24
We will launch/grow 10 diverse-by-design schools through the UnifiED Fellowship; build 3-5 charter-district partnerships through UnifiED.
Theory of Change
- Recruits expert leaders to share best practices for serving diverse student populations
- Convenes an intimate group of Diverse-by-Design leaders to talk through the most pressing challenges
- Delivers best-in-class event experience for attendees
Then DCSC members will:
- Be re-inspired annually to deepen their practice with fellow DCSC members
- Develop schools where outcomes are not predictive of student demographics
- Continue pushing our sector forward in innovative best practices
Fast Facts from 2021
- 230 participants, 47% identify as a person of color
- 96% of survey respondents rated the 2021 Annual Convening favorably
- 50+ hours of virtual programming
“DCSC members are very reflective and willing to provide support to new members like me. It’s inspiring to join this community of educators who are passionate, action-oriented, committed to the betterment of all students. The Annual Convening was an ideal way for me to foster deeper networks, partnerships, and discussion around the future of the diverse-by-design movement”
Hanifi Oguz – Beehive Science and Technology School – Sandy, UT
Goal for 21-24
Our Annual Convening is the premier gathering of Diverse-by-Design school leaders in the country, where participants develop new tools for educators in diverse schools. We seek to keep this annual event intimate and targeted at seasoned leaders of diverse-by-design schools.
Promoting the Diverse-by-Design Movement
Theory of Change
- Tells the story of school integration, academic excellence and school choice
- Develops an aligned advocacy and policy platform
Then DCSC members (and key thought leaders in the field) will:
- Identify exemplary models excellent, diverse, equitable and inclusive education
- Increases the number of people who know about the great work happening at member schools
- Expand the number of schools offering intentionally diverse school options across the country
“Since Brown v. Board, America has had to come to grips with the fact that a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision and lots of federal statutory and regulatory laws and rules have not produced fully integrated schools. Even schools that have successfully “integrated,” the students in advanced placement vs. special education classes shows little integration within the school building. But there is promise in the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition. While President Biden and the US Department of Education promise to include equity in all facets of their decision-making, intentionally diverse charter schools are providing the roadmap if they would only care to pay attention.”
Ron Rice – National Alliance for Public Charter Schools & DCSC Board Member- Silver Spring, MD
Goal for 21-24
We will engage 45 partners/influencers as champions for the DbD charter sector; adopt a federal, state, and local policy platform; and create an advocacy community of practice.
We strive to invest in our people and our programming while keeping administrative spending at a minimum.