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


Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

I want to start by thanking everyone who collaborated and participated in this year’s 5th Anniversary Convening in New Orleans.  It was great to see so many of our members this year (we had over 120 in attendance) and we’re thankful for the feedback we received from attendees, which you can view here. This feedback will be used in our planning for next year’s convening in Washington, D.C. in January 2020!

As we continue to work to support our member schools in addition to our convenings, our organization is extremely excited to roll out two research projects that were introduced last month in New Orleans that will allow us to learn more about the needs of our member schools and what you need around implementing equitable and inclusive practices.

Our first project is a Member Needs Analysis Survey led by Monica Martinez and Michelle Oliva of EduDream. Many of you participated in focus groups and 1:1 interviews with the EduDream team in New Orleans. The next phase of their project is a Needs Analysis Survey which we will launch on March 4th. Seon Britton will be reaching out individually to key staff at member schools with instructions about completing this survey. Members that complete the survey by March 15th will be entered into a prized drawing!

The second research project will set the foundation for launching Communities of Practice. Knowing that our member schools value the network of other schools in the Coalition, the CoPs will be developed based on gathered research and data provided by our members. Ultimately the CoPs will engage schools in small groups to share out practices that lead to high student outcomes, deepen Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices, and help us expand the work of  diverse-by-design charter schools. More information on the research team leading the initiation of our Communities of Practice is below. Please let us know if you have any questions about this project or any other work DCSC is engaged in.


Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition:
CoP Data Project Team
We’ve engaged a compelling team to oversee the research that will lead to our Communities of Practice! Member schools will be receiving more communication from DCSC over the next few months connecting our network to the CoP Data Project Team who will lead interviews and focus groups around best practices for high student outcomes.

Dr. Maya M. Bugg has over 15 years of experience in supporting, leading and launching non-profit organizations and initiatives grounded in the theory of DEI.  Maya has deep expertise in K-12 education, having been a National Board Certified teacher; policy consultant for U.S. Department of Education; and a non-profit executive for a variety of ed-policy/ ed-support organizations. You can read more about Maya HERE.


La Mikia Castillo is an independent diversity, equity & inclusion consultant who brings over a decade of strategic planning, community organizing and coalition building, and leadership development in the education sector to the Consultant Team. La Mikia supports public, private and nonprofit organizations with developing, implementing and assessing data-driven diversity, equity & inclusion strategies, and also facilitates DEI trainings for boards of directors to new hires. You can read more about La Mikia HERE.

Al Motley is a technology executive focused on innovation in education, social impact philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. A mission-driven leader with extensive experience in executive management, Al also has served as chief technology officer for Matchbook Learning, a national education management company, and has provided information technology leadership for Philadelphia’s Mastery Charter Schools, government clients, and venture investment analysis for various tech companies and young entrepreneurs. You can read more about Al HERE.


Congratulations to UnifiED Fellow Danny Brink-Washington  
Danny submitted his charter school application to his authorizer February 25! His proposed school, Buffalo Commons Charter School, will launch in 2021 with 100 kindergarten/first graders. We’re so excited for this current UnifiED Fellow to continue in the work of diverse-by-design charter schools by leading his own



National Alliance Charter Schools Conference

Help DCSC present as this year’s National Alliance Charter Schools Conference! You can vote for any (or all) of our five sessions:

  • Are Teachers Included in Your School’s Diversity?
  • Diagnosing and Rethinking School Level Leadership
  • Model Diversity in Staffing: Doing vs. Being
  • Ready to Launch: Fellowship Capstone Pitches
  • What’s under the hood? A study of Diverse by Design Charter Schools

Voting closes this Wednesday, the 27th, so be sure to vote today THROUGH THIS LINK!

Where we’ve been:
Education, Equity, & Entrepreneurship Panel – Washington, D.C.

Sonia attended the Education, Equity, & Entrepreneurship Panel in Washington DC, sponsored by CityBride, New Leaders for New Schools, and Urban Teachers, and hosted by NPR. The conversation focused on creating and transforming schools with the community and intentionally designing and innovating for equity. Sonia met with partner organization CityBridge and spent time with DC school leaders and leaders in training.


School Leaders of Color Reception – Washington, D.C.
Sonia also represented DCSC at the School Leaders of Color Reception on Capitol Hill. This reception was co-hosted by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition and the National Congress for Black Women honoring African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American leaders who head high-performing, high-quality charter schools. In addition to nearly 50 charter school leaders from 18 states, invited attendees include elected officials and their staffs, and education advocates. You can read more about the reception here.


From Member Schools:
School of the Year Award Winners: Valor Collegiate Academies and Larchmont Charter School

Congratulations to both Valor Collegiate Academies and Larchmont Charter School for being awarded the School of the Year Award at this year’s convening in New Orleans. We know that both of these schools are at the forefront of progressive education by infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their everyday practices. You can read the press release on the School of the Year Award here, and stay tuned for more news from both of these amazing schools!


From the Field:
Lessons from Massachusetts’s successful charter school movement
Over two decades ago, Massachusetts introduced its first charter public schools, planting seeds that would grow some of the highest performing public schools in the nation. No one could have known then how successful this experiment in education reform would be—nor how controversial. The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation draws on data and interviews with education policymakers and school leaders to trace the history of charter schools and document the stellar academic outcomes that they help students achieve.
Read more from the book here.

Three Toolkits for Leaders and Teachers in Diverse Schools
The Century Foundation has published three new reports outlining a range of strategies and best practices to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity in K-12 public schools. The reports are designed as toolkits for school leaders across the country, and aim to give educators the tools and resources they need to realize the many benefits of school diversity in their classrooms. As an additional resource, TCF has established an email address for school leaders who want to learn more about integrating their own schools and/or connect with schools featured in the toolkits: Each toolkit combines concrete policy recommendations with specific examples of schools that have pursued integration with success. They are written to provide tools for a wide range of schools—with different sizes, location, or student demographics—and focus on three different yet equally important areas of diversity efforts.
View  Toolkit 1: Recruiting and enrolling
View Toolkit 2: Integrating classrooms and reducing academic tracking
View Toolkit 3: Fostering intergroup contact in diverse classrooms

Kappan Magazine February Issue: Schooling in segregated America
Over the last several decades, Phi Delta Kappan, a professional journal for educators, has published dozens of articles on school segregation, approaching the topic from any number of directions. Their February issue specifically highlights articles that provide new research findings and insights into subjects including the influence of housing segregation on school enrollments, the effectiveness of voluntary approaches to school integration, and efforts to promote educational equity within stubbornly segregated schools and districts.
Read the latest issue here

Screened Schools:  How to Broaden Access and Diversity
Nearly 15% of New York City public high school students and about 18% of middle school students attend academically “screened” schools, where admission is based on student grades, test scores, attendance, an exam or admissions interview, or some combination of these factors. In a school system troubled by intense racial, ethnic, and income segregation, these admission screens have become a hot-button issue. Some educators and activists believe that screens reinforce racial and social privilege and should be abolished. Clara Hemphill, Nicole Mader, Melanie Quiroz, and Laura Zingmond have authored a report that concludes these academically screened secondary schools offer “islands of opportunity” for Black and Hispanic students in low-income neighborhoods. Further, the report calls attention to unscreened schools that also have impressive records of graduating college-ready Black, Hispanic, and low-income students.
Read the full report here

Initial Recommendations of the NYC School Diversity Advisory Group
The NYC School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG), in which Sonia is a member, is made up of students, parents, academics, and advocates. Among its recommendations, SDAG calls for new, more tailored integration targets for elementary and middle schools based on district- and borough-level demographics, before aiming to mirror citywide enrollment. In districts with an overwhelming number of disadvantaged students, the group says the education department should focus on measures to ensure schools are serving similar shares of the most needy children, such as homeless students.
A more comprehensive recommendation report is expected to be released in June, but you can read the February report here.


Upcoming Conferences & Events

March 2nd in Oakland, CA
Learn more about the Summit and register here
Bay Ed Summit is an annual education conference uniting teachers, school leaders, nonprofit advocates, community partners, and education supporters for a day of learning, collaboration, and coalition building. Attendance is free and open to any community member committed to catalyzing change across the Bay Area education landscape.

March 11th to March 14th in Sacramento, CA
Learn more about the conference and register here
The DCSC and City Charter will be presenting this year’s California Charter Schools Conference! If any members are interested in what the conference will offer, we would love to connect with your school while you’re there. RSVP now to join the Coalition in Sacramento!

March 12th in Brooklyn, NY
Learn more about the 1-Day Institute and register here
The 1 day  inclusion institute offers teams of up to six educators and school leaders the opportunity to share in the exploration of the principles and strategies of inclusive education, zooming in on the effective use of high impact teaching models such as stations and parallel teaching.  Participants will learn how these models can be used in the classroom to more effectively teach to the edges, accounting for the inherent variability in all learners.

May 10th and 11th in Oakland, CA
Learn more about the Charter Collaborative’s convening and register here

Charter Collaborative invites charter leaders of color to their convening wich will provide direct support on issues charter school leaders of color face in the organization’s core areas of focus — academic and behavioral supports, finance and operations, teacher development, innovation and fundraising. In 2018, Charter Collaborative hosted the first Leaders of Color Convening focused on developing a national advocacy agenda to advocate for and grow charter school leaders of color. Subsequent convenings will focus on various elements of the agenda.


News Roundup

The integration imperative: New York City’s public schools must mix student populations far more effectively” by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Maya Wiley
Daily News — February 19, 2019

New York City Public Schools Should Be Evaluated Based on Diversity, Not Just Tests, Panel Says” by Eliza Shapiro
The New York Times — February 12, 2019

D.C. had a plan to diversify one of its most selective high schools.” by Perry Stein
The Washington Post — February 9, 2019

Power Is Knowledge: New Study Finds That Wealthy, Educated Families Are Using School Ratings to Self-Segregate” by Kevin Mahnken
The 74 — February 5, 2019

After charter moratorium vote, families voice anger, betrayal, disappointment — and vow to fight back” by Esmeralda Fabián Romero
LA School Report — January 31, 2019

New York legislators overhaul teacher evaluations, removing mandatory link to state test” by Reema Amin
Chalkbeat — January 23, 2019

The problem with you calling us out for being funded by hedge fund billionaires is that you’re funded by hedge fund billionaires (and unions)”  Chris Stewart
Citizen Stewart Blog — January 20, 2019

Is There a Path to Desegregated Schools?” by Denisa R. Superville
Education Week — January 8, 2019

Through the Labor Market Looking Glass: An Inquiry into Principal-Teacher Race Congruence” by Peter Goff, Yasmin Rodriguez-Escutia, and Minseok Yang
Wisconsin Center for Educational Research — October, 2018


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

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