Demographically Representative Thinking
I read an Ed Week article yesterday where the author was trying to convey that American schools need more demographically representative thinking when it comes to staffing teachers in our schools. Our schools are diverse in student makeup yet the teaching staff continues to be dominated by Caucasian females. Does demographically representative thinking, when it comes to staffing teachers, lead to better schools? This thinking may not be broad enough.
The power and authority for school reform ultimately rests with the representatively elected boards of education but are they truly representative of the communities and students they serve? Approval of curriculum, hiring, budgets and district direction all must pass through the board chamber. With this current school governance model all efforts for demographic and ideological representative thinking has to begin with who is elected to serve as a Board member. For changes to occur in schools it must begin and end with the board of education.
The local board of education should have members that represent the ethnic, socioeconomic and ideological diversity of their community but often they do not. Employing and retaining a staff that represents the makeup of the student population is not an easy task. Would this task be attainable when the governing body more acurately represented their communities rich diversity and desires?