Bill’s Weekly Reflection: DSST in the Sweet Spot of a National Crisis
On Wednesday, a new study was released on segregation in our nation’s schools. The New York Times ran a quick story on the study - linked here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/education/segregation-prominent-in-schools-study-finds.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0
A few quotes from the article paint a vivid picture of the problem:
“Across the country, 43 percent of Latinos and 38 percent of blacks attend schools where fewer than 10 percent of their classmates are white,” and, “more than one in seven black and Latino students attend schools where fewer than 1 percent of their classmates are white, according to the group’s analysis of enrollment data from 2009-2010.”
DSST was founded on a commitment to create integrated schools – economically, ethnically and academically. It is founded to reverse the very trend the New York Times is writing about. Thus far, we have had great success in doing so. Our schools draw significant numbers of students from all backgrounds learning together in our classrooms. As we grow, integration will continue to be a significant emphasis in our schools. And if we do this well, we can be a huge force in re-integrating Denver Public Schools.
If you read the article, you will see there is an interesting debate between charter school advocates and the authors of the study who have traditionally been very critical of charter schools (the authors believe that charter schools increase segregation - I disagree with them). DSST is very uniquely positioned nationally to bridge this divide. We create high-performing schools that both serve local communities and are integrated. There are many destructive and unproductive debates that go on in America education driven by political agendas - not what is best for kids. I am proud that DSST often bridges these debates with action and unique solutions that focus on what is best for kids.