Sonia Park, Executive Director
“The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich (their) mind and to enlarge (their) talents.”
President Johnson, 1964
Nearly six decades after this aspirational statement from President Johnson, the path through the classroom to a great society is still being forged.
The Diverse by Design (DbD) School Movement, from single-site schools to networks, is laying the foundation for a great society school by school, brick by brick. By founding and operating intentionally diverse and inclusive schools, the DbD movement is providing an integral component of a great society.
The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, home and host for the Diverse by Design School Movement, is committed to a great society with liberty for all, free of racial injustice and poverty.
For DCSC, that starts with the proliferation and support of excellent, diverse, and inclusive schools intentionally disrupting the dynamics of poverty and racial injustice for our nation’s children while providing a high-quality education for every student.
- 227 member schools serving almost 90,000 students in 23 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.
- 41 Net Promoter Score
- 5x increase in members since founding in 2014
- 10 member-developed toolkits for the field
- 15 new schools, creating 8,500 new seats at full scale
- Featured in media outlets including The 74, NJ.com, The New York Post
Fundamentally, DCSC’s work centers on how schools make equity and integration woven into the fabric of the school community. Through what we offer (resources, support, and a community of schools), we seek to collectively build a greater society.
We don’t offer THE answer; what we do offer is a committed dedication to the shared practice of equity and inclusion. DCSC members practice this every day with every student, family, teacher, leader, and board member.
We gratefully share with you program highlights from 2021-2022.
External Affairs Lead
- Mike Chalupa (Board Chair) – Director – City Neighbors Foundation
- Derrick Johnson (Board Vice Chair) – Chief of Staff – EL Education
- Rhonda Broussard – Founder and CEO – Beloved Community
- Michael DeMatteo – Chief Operating Officer – Blackstone Valley Prep
- Ebonie Durham – Executive Director – Great Lakes Academy Inc.
- Amanda Fenton – Partner – Capitol Advocacy Partners
- Dr. Chanel Hampton – Founder and CEO – Strategic Community Partners
- Natalie Hester – Co-President of External Affairs – Washington State Charter Schools Association
- Dr. Kristina Kyles-Smith – Chief Executive Officer – Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School
- Ron Rice – Senior Director, Government Relations – National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Our membership represents over 200 individual Diverse-by-Design schools serving over 80,000 students.
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; members are school communities that demand equity and integration.
We see the work of demanding equity and 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 chose the theme demanding equity and integration in consideration of the times we are in and the promise realized by DCSC members, long-standing and new.
We are pleased to share the members who joined us in 2022.
These schools hail from nine 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.
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.
member of the year
Two Rivers Public Charter School
Member of the Year Two Rivers embodies the DCSC core value of strategy. During the covid years, Two Rivers embarked on a thoughtful, multi-year journey of becoming an exemplary anti-racist, multicultural organization. They created heterogeneous race and equity crews that met regularly to develop the capacity for everyone in the organization to have brave conversations about race and the inequities within the school system. As a result of their strategy, on a most recent staff survey, 95% of staff were scoring “accomplished” or “advanced” in 4 of the 5 learning targets.
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 and participants
- Ensures quality experience
- 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.
- 79 participants, 59% identify as a person of color
- 28 member schools represented
- Five best-in-class resources for DbD schools developed by participants through this program, adding to our CoP library which has been 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
“The opportunity to engage on a topic aligned with our strategic priorities was invaluable. And the learning we were able to bring back to our team has made a hugely positive impact on our students. For the 2022/2023 school year, we will participate in the Data for Equity COP because we’re committed to using results-based data to improve practice and learning across our school!”
Jen Mcmillan, Co-founder and Head of School, Detroit Prep
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
- 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
- 20 Fellows, 55% POC, launching new district and charter schools that will serve 8,800 students at scale
- 23 Explorers, 43% POC, leading in 15 district and charter schools
“For me, as principal of P.S 287 in New York City, the value of the UnifiED fellowship was developing close relationships with other leaders that are doing the work of creating anti-racist schools, such as Erika Bryant (Elsie Whitlow, Stokes Public Charter School), who has been such a wonderful mentor and resource!”
Everbell Boampong, UnifiED Fellow and Principal of P.S 287
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
- 170 participants, 58% identify as a person of color
- 96% of survey respondents rated the 2022 Annual Convening favorably
- 50+ hours of virtual programming
“I’ve attended multiple Convenings and always leave with a ton of resources. Plus I meet new people that enhance my professional network. The convening deepens my commitment to creating a truly inclusive school: one where students and adults are welcomed and supported, and where their faces, voices, and experiences are reflected and valued.”
Tysie McDowell, Co-founder and Superintendent, Crossroads Charter Schools
Goal for 21-24
Our Annual Convening is the premier gathering of DbD 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.
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
- In September 2022, DCSC engaged an expert consultant to lead the planning phase of an advocacy and policy platform
- During the planning phase, the consultant interviewed 17 individuals and conducted a market analysis.
“After months of speaking with stakeholders, reviewing the national advocacy landscape, and digging through foundational documents and DCSC resources, Brightbeam is confident in the options put forward. DCSC has the potential to mainline the lived experiences of their school communities and the incredible impact they are having on students with national leaders. Few organizations are as well positioned as DCSC to bring the voices of leaders, educators, and students directly to some of the country’s most consequential policy discussions.”
Antonio Parés, Senior Partner, Strategy, Brightbeam
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.