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Monthly Digest with Coalition Updates, Must-Read News, and Upcoming Events

Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

Welcome back from the summer — and what a rollercoaster of a summer it’s been: continued racial turmoil in national headlines, increasing threats on school safety for students, and the precariousness of a sustainable environment for future generations. We know that back to school means many different things for the broad range of students who are returning to your classrooms. We send every bit of hope, empathy and love to you and your staff as you welcome students back.

Please read below for our updates around a new team member(!), our recent Member Report Back presentations, UnifiED Fellowship, and the launch of our Communities of Practice initiative.

Here’s to another year of challenging, yet valuable work!



Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition:

Welcome our newest team member, Amy Jiravisitcul!
Amy has recently joined the DCSC staff as the Data and Evaluation Manager and will support member data collection and analysis by developing tools to assess equitable outcomes among our diverse communities. She will also contribute to systematic evaluation of our programs such as UnifiED and our Communities of Practice. Amy has most recently worked at The Steppingstone Foundation advising middle school students after having taught in Boston (where she still resides). You can read more about Amy here, and welcome her at!

Member Report Back presentations
Earlier this month, we presented findings from two research projects we undertook this year: the Member Needs Analysis and Member Data Collection. We want to thank all members who participated in these research projects as your input has helped to (1) inform our upcoming Communities of Practice, (2)  clarify member expectations, and (3) develop  our dues-based membership structure that we will be introducing for the 20-21 school year.
You can view the findings from our two research projects here.

New Member Application
DCSC is now accepting applications for admission into the Coalition for the winter of 2020. To live our mission of catalyzing and supporting the creation and expansion of high-quality diverse public charter schools, we are looking for schools across the country that are committed to working towards school desegregation for the sake of true integration of all students, teachers, and families. The application closes on October 11th. If you have a recommendation for a potential member, reach out to Seon at

Help us find the next cohort of UnifiED Fellows
The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition’s UnifiED School Launch Program is looking for aspiring leaders and host schools to launch the next wave of excellent, diverse by design charter schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Help us recruit for Cohort 3 by:
1) Joining and inviting potential Fellows and host site leaders to join one of our informational webinars:

2) Emailing Ashley with recommendations for Fellows and/or host site leaders. Feel free to recommend yourself!

Communities of Practice Launches this Fall
The overwhelming response from DCSC members has called for more and deeper opportunities to connect with and learn from each other. To meet this demand, we will be launching Communities of Practice which entails guidance from an expert facilitator, focused content over a 6-month commitment, in-person and virtual learning environments, and a final product that will be developed collaboratively.

Our Communities of Practice will kick off this fall, and we plan on opening 2-5 Communities of Practice for 10-20 DCSC members in each. Be on the lookout for the facilitator RFP launch on September 5 and the Participant sign up on October 17:

  • September 5: RFP for presenters opens (facilitators are eligible to receive a $5K stipend if their proposal is selected for the inaugural year)
  • October 17: DCSC Member Participant Sign Up (first come, first serve)
  • Mid-December: Introductory Kick-Off
  • January 30: 4 hour in-person PD session lead by facilitator
  • Monthly Calls: Feb – June
  • June: each CoP presents their best practice/tool development/lessons learned as end product

Read our piece in Education Post!
Sonia writes on combating the current narrative of charters schools being divisive, and gives examples of what can be done so that the work of charters can be more effective in addressing school segregation.
Read and share the article here.


Where we’ve been

Sonia in Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota lawsuit is an ongoing lawsuit examining racial imbalance in Twin Cities schools. Because the plaintiffs argue that charter schools are contributing to racial imbalance, two charter schools—Friendship Academy and Higher Ground Academy—directly intervened in the case. The court has ordered the parties to engage in mediation this summer and Sonia was asked to present on diverse by design charter schools and the work of the Coalition.

Stockton and Yu Ming School Visit (Stockton and Oakland, CA) 
Sonia, Ashley, and UnifiED Fellow Phillip Hon spent the day in Stockton then visited with Phillip’s host site leader Sue Park at Yu Ming Charter School in Oakland. In Stockton, the team met with local leaders to discuss Phillip’s school vision and brainstorm ways to make it a reality in Stockton. At Yu Ming, Sue showed Ashley around the middle school campus and Ashley and Phillip got to work together in person. Thank you Bay Area for a great visit!

Boston Collegiate School Visit (Boston, MA)
Shout out to Shannah Varon and Shea Martin for hosting us at Boston Collegiate. Dave Bryson and Amy Jiravisitcul met with staff during August PD and participated in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion session for new BCCS staff. It was an amazing experience and we were thrilled to get time with this great team on 11 Mayhew!


From Member Schools

Citizens of the World New School Opening!
DCSC was lucky enough to join former UnifiED Fellow, Alisha Gripp, on the opening of her new campus under COTW in Kansas City. The school opening was also featured in the local news for its special approach through its Learning Fellowship program. Watch the news segment here.


DSST New School Opening!
DSST has also launched a new campus this year under UnifiED alum, Kristin Hull. Kristin’s campus will partner with University of Colorado to provide opportunities for its students in and out of the classroom. Read more about the work that DSST will be doing in Aurora here.

Elsie Whitlow Stokes New School Opening!
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS has seen great academic outcomes for its students and will increase its reach within the D.C. area by opening up a new campus this year. Elsie Whitlow Stokes has been acknowledged for the high academic expectations it holds for its students, which you can read about here.

Integration at Blackstone Valley Prep
With a proud focus on culturally responsive teaching, BVP in Rhode Island has been highlighted for the role that its teachers have in promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in its schools. Read what one teacher at BVP has done with her students here.


From the Field

RootsConnectED Institute
The Roots ConnectED Anti-Bias and Social Justice Institute welcomes teams of 3-5 members from a particular school to visit its lab site, Community Roots in NYC, to engage in interactive learning, classroom observations, sharing of resources, reflection and planning around the anti-bias curriculum, work with families, and staff professional development needed to create equitable school communities. 
Register here.

RIDES Institute Application
The RIDES Institute is a program of Professional Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The purpose of the RIDES Institute is for schools to improve their ability to achieve a vision around diversity, equity, and integration through an institute where teams engage in collaborative work, make strategic, evidence-based decisions, and progress through cycles of improvement. The institute is for teams of 4-7 education leaders.
Apply by the priority deadline of September 30th, and learn more about the RIDES Institute here.

Applications for the EF+MATH Program’s Educator Leadership Council
Supported by NewSchools Venture Fund, the EF+MATH Program funds bold approaches of inclusive discovery and development of executive functions to dramatically increase math outcomes for students in grades 3-8. The EF+MATH Program’s Educator Leadership Council is a 9-month appointment from October 2019 through June 2020 in which advisors are asked to commit 10-15 hours of virtual work per month and will be compensated for their time. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through September 19, 2019.
Learn more about the EF+MATH Program here and apply for the Educator Leadership Council here.

The Catalyzing Career & Technical Education Competition
Social Finance, together with JFF (formerly known as Jobs for the Future), is excited to host the second round of a national Pay for Success (PFS) competition to expand career and technical education (CTE) for under-served, high-need youth. Awardees will receive a year of free technical support to explore the feasibility of a PFS project to expand their CTE program. Target applicants have an evidenced-based program to scale and an identified party willing to pay for positive outcomes. For more detailed information, please visit the competition websiteand find the full Request for Proposals here.
Please email completed applications to with the subject line Catalyzing CTE Competition no later than 11:59 PM EST on October 4, 2019.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to Anna Fogel (

Do Charter Schools Increase Segregation?
A recent study uses detailed annual records on school enrollment by race spanning a period of 17 years, from 1998 to 2015, and a research design that isolates the causal effect of the charter share of enrollment on the segregation of American school systems. While it is found that, on average, an increase in the percentage of students going to charter schools leads to a small increase in the segregation of black and Hispanic students within the school districts in which charters open, there is considerable variation in the size of this effect, particularly depending on how a school system is defined.
Read the study here.

Choice without Inclusion?: Comparing the Intensity of Racial Segregation in Charters and Public Schools at the Local, State and National Levels
Researchers have conducted descriptive and inferential analyses of publicly available Common Core of Data (CCD) to examine segregation at the local, state, and national levels. Nationally, they found that higher percentages of charter students of every race attend intensely segregated schools. The highest levels of racial isolation are at the primary level for public and middle level for charters. They also found that double segregation by race and class is higher in charter schools. Charters are more likely to be segregated, even when controlling for local ethnoracial demographics. A majority of states have at least half of Blacks and a third of Latinx in intensely segregated charters. At the city level, they found that higher percentages of urban charter students were attending intensely segregated schools.
Read the study here.

Gentrification Did Not Displace NYC’s Most Vulnerable Children
Kriston Capps of CityLab writes on a study completed by New York University and released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study uses Medicaid records to track the paths of children living in New York City from January 2009 to December 2015. The findings of the study disentangle the concepts of gentrification and displacement finding that children of lower socio-economic backgrounds face the threat of displacement regardless if their neighborhood gentrifies.
Read more on the study here.

Diversity and Inclusion Booklist
This list was compiled by Miriam Yeung, a lifelong social justice advocate and DEI consultant. Her childrens’ school PTA committee on diversity had funds leftover at the end of the year so she came up with this book ordering form to help teachers get more diverse books into their classroom libraries and to support their own professional development. The suggestions for the books came from various sources listed in the third tab and from her and Abby’s own reading and studying. To customize this for your own use, save a copy of this Google Sheet for your own school. If you see books that should be included, Miriam would love for you to send her a note to Miriam at so she can include it!
Access the booklist here.


Upcoming Conferences & Events

UnifiED Fall Excellent School Visits
September 30th to October 1st in Los Angeles, CA
Member schools are invited to join DCSC staff and UnifiED Fellows on our upcoming Excellent School Visits to Los Angeles for the first two full days of visits, September 30-October 1. During this time we will visit Valley Charter Elementary, City Charter School, and Larchmont Charter School. Space is limited! For schools interested in joining us, email Ashley by August 31 and include a few lines as to why you want to join.

Attract the Teachers You Need: Create a Year-Round, Multi-Channel Teacher Recruitment System
August 29th (Online Webinar)
Learn more about this online webinar and register here
In this hands-on session, reflect on how recruiting teachers has radically changed for school districts in the last five years, uncover what candidates are seeking, and discover how a year-round, multi-stakeholder, and multi-channel recruitment system is attracting a new pool of teachers to districts across the country. 

2nd Annual Congressional Black Caucus Charter School Leadership Awards and Reception
September 11th in Washington, D.C.
Learn more about Annual Charter School Leadership Awards and Reception here
On the first night of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), the 2nd Annual Charter School Leadership Awards and Reception will take place recognizing the achievements within education made by educators of African American communities. For more information on the Awards and Reception and to RSVP, please contact Brittany Harris at

White People Confronting Racism
October 4th to October 6th in Philadelphia, PA
Learn more about this training hosted by Training for Change and register here
Hosted by Training for Change, this workshop is for white people who want to challenge the racism around them — and in their own heads and hearts — and who are searching for a way to strengthen their work for racial justice. It’s for white folks who already do anti-racism work but want to develop their skills and deepen their approach. And it’s for white folks who want a better understanding of how white privilege and racism operate in society and inside of them.

Find more events on the DCSC events page!


News Roundup

Just in case you missed it in last month’s newsletter!: Park: Charter Schools Can Be an Important New Tool for Fostering Integration. Our New Coalition Is Working to Make That Happen” by Sonia Park
The 74 — July 23, 2019

A revealing look at America’s most controversial charter school system” by Jay Mathews
The Washington Post — August 17, 2019

The Urgent Need for Anti-Racist Education” by Christina Torres
Education Week — August 14, 2019

When It Comes to Integration, Stop Debating Who Said What in 1970. Start Talking About What We Can Do in 2019” by Lakisha Young
The 74 — August 13, 2019

Editorial: Fighting school segregation, not in the American South, but in Sausalito” by The Times Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times — August 13, 2019

A Losing Fight to Keep Schools Desegregated” by Christina A. Samuels
Education Week — August 12, 2019

‘Separate Programs for Separate Communities’: California School District Agrees to Desegregate” by Dana Goldstein and Anemona Hartocollis
The New York Times — August 9, 2019

74 Interview: Researcher Gloria Ladson-Billings on Culturally Relevant Teaching, the Role of Teachers in Trump’s America & Lessons From Her Two Decades in Education Research” by Laura Fay
The 74 — August 7, 2019 

I convinced my teachers to walk our students’ neighborhoods. It changed our school.” by Rann Miller
Chalkbeat — August 7, 2019

Why Racial Equity and Social Justice Have a Role in School Reform” by Heather Harding
Education Week — August 5, 2019

How Ferguson, Mo., now could help reform public education funding” by Aaron Garth Smith
The Hill — August 5, 2019

It’s still possible to take action on school segregation. Here’s how we’re doing it in San Antonio.” by Mohammed Choudhury
Chalkbeat — August 1, 2019

Dear White Teachers of My Black Children” by Afrika Afeni Mills
Philly’s 7th Ward — August 1, 2019

The Whiter, Richer School District Right Next Door” by Adam Harris
The Atlantic — August 1, 2019

Not In My Suburbs: Milliken v. Bradley @ 45 (BONUS)” [Podcast] with Michelle Adams
Integrated Schools — July 25, 2019



Have an upcoming event or know about an interesting conference? Forward information to and we’ll include it in our next month’s update!
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