In News

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

Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

What times we live in.

The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition was founded to represent a community of schools that believe all children should be provided with an equitable education. We look for member schools who open their doors to children of all races and ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and regardless of language and citizenship status. We know you work tirelessly to serve diverse student populations equitably and in a way where every child feels a sense of belonging.

Events in the news this summer have demonstrated to us that we need to redouble our efforts in this work. Whether we look at the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, migrants and even American citizens at the border or the language of tweets toward duly elected congress members of color, we see that the world we seek may seem further away than we may have thought.

Thurgood Marshall’s quote that we use as our touchstone continues to ring true to us and fuels our focus and zeal in our work: “unless our children begin to learn together there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together.”

As we continue to resist racism, xenophobia, and all prejudices, I look forward to staying in the fight with all of you.



Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition:

Membership Needs Analysis and Communities of Practice Research Project Report Back
Back in January in New Orleans, we shared that there were two research projects that we are working on with consulting teams on the following two objectives:
1. To understand what members value about DCSC membership and what changes to membership we need to make
2. To understand what data we need to collect on members and how we can launch our Communities of Practice

Both projects have come to conclusion and we want to offer an opportunity to share the results of these reports with our members.

We will be holding 45 minute zoom calls to share the findings and the implications for membership, program offerings, and our work over the next 18 months. If you would like to join one of these calls please complete this doodle poll.

DCSC is published in The 74!
Sonia has written an OpEd piece for in The 74 which not only brings attention to the need for school desegregation more than 50 year after Brown v. Board of Education, but also how DCSC and our member schools play a role in the challenge of ensuring an equitable education for all students. You can read the article in The 74 here, and please share out on your social media through Facebook and Twitter!

UnifiED Cohort 2 Kickoff
This week DCSC is in St. Louis at City Garden Montessori School to kickoff the 2nd cohort of our UnifiED School Launch Program! This will mark the first time that all Fellows, Host Site Leaders, and DCSC staff will be together to set goals for this coming year in the fellowship and start to plan a roadmap for the diverse-by-design schools they will be opening up the year after. Be on the lookout for more updates on this amazing cohort throughout the year and read more about them and our UnifiED program here

Reflections from our DCSC Intern
For the past two months, DCSC has been fortunate enough to work with Layla Brooks, a Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellow. Layla has spent the summer housed in New York City and has worked on updating our membership database, created a report giving a synopsis of our current membership, and researched the charter landscape in states DCSC looks to strategically grow in within the next 5 years. It has been a pleasure working with Layla this summer and we wish her all the best as she enters into her senior year at Virginia State University! Read Layla’s blog post here.


Where we’ve been

National Charter Schools Conference (Las Vegas, NV)
All of the DCSC team was together in Las Vegas earlier this month to attend the NAPCS Conference. We were joined by board members as well as folks from our member schools. While at the conference, Dave led sessions along with Kristin Droege of Citizens of the World and Michael DeMatteo of Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) Mayoral Academy; Sonia presented with Ted Fujimoto on crisis management; and Ashley hosted the UnifiED Fellowship capstone for the program’s 1st cohort.  We also received quite a turnout for our Members (and new friends) Reception. We look forward to next year’s NAPCS conference in Orlando!


New York Regional Reception
During the DCSC staff retreat in NYC, we were able to get together with some of our member schools in the area during our Regional Reception. It was a great time to celebrate the end of another school year and for everyone to talk about their summer plans of both professional development and vacation!


From Member Schools

New Orleans LEAP results
Student achievement test results are in for Louisiana and there has been great growth on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, or LEAP 2025! Steady improvement can be seen in English language arts (ELA), math, and social studies since last year and since 2015. DCSC wishes to congratulate all of our 8 member schools in Louisiana who are helping their students achieve high academic outcomes!
Read more about the LEAP results and view them here.

Capital City Announces new Lower School Principal
With nine years of experience teaching and leading in public schools, Míchelle Johnson joins Capital City with a deep expertise in elementary education and an unwavering commitment to educational equity. “I wanted to join Capital City because it is a community that has a clear strategy for improving learning outcomes for students, engaging families, and supporting the growth and development of its staff,” said Míchelle. “I am eager to begin building strong, long-lasting relationships with students, families, and staff. It is only in genuine collaboration together that we can continue to push the growth of this community.”

From the Field

The National Coalition on School Diversity’s State of Integration
The National Coalition on School Diversity found that as a whole, charter schools in North Carolina tend to be wealthier and Whiter than the state’s public schools. According to 2016 data, White students in North Carolina make up 55.8% of charter school students and only 48.6% of traditional public school students. Nationally, White students make up only 32% of charter school students. Further, research indicates that 70% of charters in North Carolina were either predominantly White or predominantly students of color (more than 80%).
Read the study here.

New York City School District Profiles
School district data is critical for understanding local student demographics, identifying student needs, and informing policy conversations on diversity in New York City’s public schools. The NYU Furman Center’s New York City School District Data Profiles are a platform for viewing how students are distributed across public elementary schools with various categories of racial/ethnic composition, how school characteristics vary across these categories, and how stable racially/ethnically diverse schools are over time for the city’s 32 school districts. 
View the District Profiles, as well as additional visualizations here

Schools’ Racial Makeup Can Sway Disability Diagnoses
Three new studies show that a web of factors appear to influence how often black and Hispanic children are identified for special education compared to similar white peers. The studies goes over trends of diagnoses and enrollments of black and brown children and explores the school’s environment as context for student outcomes.
Read more about the three studies here

The Educator Diversity Playbook
The Educator Diversity Playbook is designed as a tool for school district leaders who are interested in improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in their schools and central offices. The Playbook focuses on five steps that school districts can take. For each of these steps, the Playbook briefly cites the research, offers a district policy checklist, recommends indicators to track, and describes examples of New York school districts that are taking on this important work.
Read more about the Playbook here.

The Education Exchange: The State of Parent Choice in 2019 [Podcast]
Howard Fuller, a Distinguished Professor of Education, and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, joins Paul E. Peterson on the 100th episode of the Education Exchange to discuss the state of school choice and its contentious standing in current politics.
Listen to the podcast with Howard Fuller here.

The Future Ready Integrated Schools Continuum of Excellence (FRC)
Kim Bridges, Carole Learned-Miller, and Reggie Johnson have created a rubric to reflect the steps that schools, districts and states could take to move towards high quality integrated learning environments. The rubric is designed to not only measure school, district and state projects for financial rewards, but to also be a tool to offer teachers as well as school and system leaders a way to engage in reflection on areas of improvement towards the goal of future-ready integration. 
Read more here and view the FRC rubric here.

Petition: End Attacks on Charter Schools
Supported by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Charter Works is a call to action for teachers, parents, leaders, and other advocates of high-quality charter schools to show local and national legislators the success and progress of charter schools for all – including the most disadvantaged – communities.
Sign the Petition here.


Upcoming Conferences & Events

Citizens of the World New School Opening!
August 12th in Kansas City, MO
Read more about the school opening on the DCSC events page here
Former UnifiED Fellow, Alisha Gripp, from the first cohort will be expanding COTW as school leader of the new middle school campus. Alisha will continue to work within the Coalition as a member school contributing to the work of DCSC. We congratulate Alisha on the work that she has done during her time as a UnifiED Fellow and for the future success she will achieve as a school leader!

DSST New School Opening!
August 15th in Aurora, CO
Read more about the school opening on the DCSC events page here
Kristin Hull, another UnifiED Fellow from the first cohort, will be opening up her school’s campus under DSST. Kristin’s school site will also become apart of DCSC’s membership as she works towards ensuring our mission of equity and inclusion. We wish Kristin all the best of luck and will continue to support her throughout her journey of leading a diverse and equitable school!

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.


News Roundup

Louisiana’s School Policy Mojo: New Research Spotlights 7 Years of Successful Efforts to Earn Buy-in From Bayou Teachers on Big Education Reforms” by Beth Hawkins
The 74 — July 16, 2019

Left Behind: Can East Baton Rouge Schools Survive the Breakaway of a Wealthy — Majority White — Community?” by Beth Hawkins
The 74 — July 15, 2019

WV teachers union says it will sue over charter school bill” by Anthony Izaguirre
The Washington Post — July 10, 2019

Can ‘growth’ data push parents to more integrated schools? A new study says maybe” by Matt Barnum
Chalkbeat — July 9, 2019

Defending my community’s access to quality public charter schools” by Christina Laster
The Press-Enterprise — July 9, 2019

How school desegregation became the third rail of Democratic politics” by Matthew Delmont and Jeanne Theoharis
The Washington Post — July 8, 2019

Kamala Is Dead Wrong on Busing” by George Mitchell
Urban Milwaukee — July 8, 2019

Why Some of the Country’s Best Urban Schools Are Facing a Reckoning” by Eliza Shapiro
The New York Times — July 5, 2019

Charter schools aren’t a radical solution and neither is blaming them” by Andre Perry
The Hechinger Report — July 2, 2019

We asked every Democratic candidate for president about desegregating schools. Here’s what they told us.” by Camille Respess
Chalkbeat — July 2, 2019

Lessons from a Chicago school merger: Race, resilience, and an end-of-the-year resignation” by Adeshina Emmanuel
Chalkbeat — June 21, 2019

There’s a Difference Between a ‘Good’ School and Choosing Whiteness and Wealth” by Zachary Wright
Education Post — June 19, 2019

2020 cheat sheet: What the Democratic presidential candidates have said about education” by Camille Respess
Chalkbeat — June 13, 2019

Berkeley Talks: Professor Rucker Johnson on why school integration works [Podcast]” by Public Affairs
UC Berkeley — April 17, 2019

Hate in Schools: An In-Depth Look” by Francisco Vara-Orta
Education Week — August 6, 2018

When school districts resegregate, more black and Hispanic students drop out” by Matt Barnum
Chalkbeat — August 28, 2017



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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