Here are some questions to ask of school administrators… Let’s make diversity a priority on our ‘important things in schools’ lists AND let’s let administrators know that parents DO care…
What is the socioeconomic, racial, and home-language demographics of the students at this school? What about the staff?
How do test scores break down by race/socioeconomics?
How does the school celebrate diversity and multiculturalism?
What supports do you offer students of color, English Language Learners, students with disabilities, students whose families are financially insecure, LGBTQ students?
How are students grouped at school – gifted programs, language tracks, special education, etc? What are the socioeconomic and racial demographics of these programs — Are they representative of the school population?
How inclusive is the school of minority students and families? What structures or systems do you have in place to ensure that they have equal access to opportunity and “voice”?
Does this school actively recruit families and students from across the racial and socioeconomic spectrum? How?
How accessible and culturally responsive is the curriculum and instruction?
In what ways does the school support power sharing within parent communities?
How does the school address issues of implicit bias?
How does the school deal with bullying – and race/class based bullying in particular?
What are the rates of expulsion/suspension/behavioral intervention at this school? Are these rates representative of the school population?
Does this school foster a “carefully curated” kind of integration? (In the provocative words of Nikole Hannah-Jones, the “carefully curated” classroom has “some students of color, but not too many… [so that] white parents [can] boast that their children’s public schools look like the United Nations, [but] comes at a steep cost for … black and Latino children”? (Hannah-Jones, Nikole (2016) Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City)
Do you have any good questions? Share them!