Giving Compass' Take:

• Diversity in recruitment is an excellent first step for prioritizing equity in schools. However, the next steps are critical for teachers to understand how to support all types of students in schools. 

• How important is diversity in your local schools? Are teachers focusing on equity training? 

• Read about why educational equity requires more than access. 

Accordingly, if New York City is to transform itself from being one of our country’s most segregated school systems to becoming a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (a goal that to their great credit, our mayor and chancellor are championing), we need strategies that take into account more than just the specialized high schools. And in developing these strategies, we need to remember that while recruiting diverse student populations is necessary, it is only a first step.

We also need to make sure that students feel welcomed and valued, connected both to each other and the larger school community, and challenged and supported to do their best work. This doesn’t happen magically once a student body is diverse. It demands intention — and hard work.

I know this because I head a nonprofit, NYC Outward Bound Schools, which operates a network of diverse public schools. In all of New York City, there are only 28 schools where at least 15% of students fall into each of the four main racial categories: black, Hispanic, Asian, and white. Two of those schools are part of our network. Other schools in our network are almost as diverse.

I’m sharing what we’ve learned because our experience could be instructive if the city and the local communities within it are successful in changing admissions practices to create more diverse schools. What is especially exciting is that the work we are doing around inclusion and equity is translating into measurable results. The four-year high school graduation rates of the black and Hispanic students enrolled in our network schools are 15 percentage points higher than city averages, and the graduation rate of our students with disabilities (who represent nearly a quarter of our total student population) is 81%, outpacing the city average by 31 percentage points.

Read the full article about schools need diversity recruitment by Richard Stopol at Chalkbeat.