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Schools in Transition: Creating a Diverse School Community

by Donald Easton-Brooks, Derrick Robinson & Sheneka M. Williams - 2018

U.S. public schools are becoming increasingly diverse. By 2025, it is predicted that students of color will make up more than 55% of the school population across the United States. However, teachers and leaders of color make up less than 20% of the education workforce across the country. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015) establishes a policy goal to increase the number of educators of color. Yet, the policy must go beyond simply increasing the number of educators of color; rather, the policy must assist schools in transitioning and engaging with a new generation of public school students and teachers of color. This study employed a qualitative approach informed by a narrative case study design to explore the challenges schools face in increasing the quantity and quality of racially diverse educators. The researchers examined a school district facing a rapid demographic change over a relatively short period. The findings showed challenges at multiple levels and cultural/racial systematic challenges facing many U.S. public schools. The researchers conclude with recommendations to multiple stakeholders (i.e., public schools, teacher preparation programs, leadership preparation programs) who impact the process of leading schools through the transition into highly diverse communities of learning.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 13, 2018, p. 1-26
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22340, Date Accessed: 9/16/2021 5:42:19 PM

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About the Author
  • Donald Easton-Brooks
    University of South Dakota
    E-mail Author
    DONALD EASTON-BROOKS is a full professor and dean of the School of Education at the University of South Dakota. His research is on the impact of educational policy and practice on students of color. He is most known for his work on ethnic matching, in which findings show that teachers of color make a statistically significant impact on the academic lives of students of color. This work has most recently been published in the Handbook of Urban Education (“Ethnic-matching in Urban Education”) and the Urban Education Journal (“Ethnic matching, school placement, and mathematics achievement of African American students from kindergarten through fifth grade”). He is currently working on a book, Academic Success of Students of Color in U.S. Public Schools: The Impact of Ethnic Matching, for Rowman & Littlefield Publishing.
  • Derrick Robinson
    University of South Dakota
    E-mail Author
    DERRICK ROBINSON is an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of South Dakota. His research interests include school climate and culture, leader effectiveness, and teacher effectiveness in urban contexts. His most recent publications include "Typologies for Effectiveness: Characteristics of Effective Teachers in Urban Learning Environments" and "Fueling the STEMM pipeline: How Historically Black Colleges Universities Improve the Presence of African American Scholars in STEMM", both published in the Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research in fall 2017.
  • Sheneka Williams
    University of Georgia
    SHENEKA M. WILLIAMS is an associate professor in the Program of Educational Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. Her overarching research interest includes students’ access to educational opportunity, and her specific research interest includes student assignment across various contexts, school governance, and school–community relations. Dr. Williams is the coeditor of the book, Educational Opportunity in Rural Contexts: The Politics of Place. She has published her research in journals such as Educational Policy, Teachers College Record, Urban Education, and Journal of School Leadership. She has also presented aspects of her research at the National Press Club, CNN, Capitol Hill, and various think tanks in Washington, DC.
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