PDK Reviews Plan for Creating Equitable School Outcomes


In 2018, civil rights groups in New Jersey sued demanding a state plan to desegregate all public schools. At the March 30,2019 meeting of officers, Shirley Spears, President of Phi Delta Kappa International, Chapter 1219, began the meeting with a short review of a journal article from the Kappan Magazine titled “Creating Equitable Outcomes in a Segregated State” by Thomas Hatch, Rachael Roegman, and David Allen. The article was first published January 22, 2019. Segregation was shown, by studies cited in the article, to worsen as the result of decades of discrimination in housing, employment and economic opportunities contributed to separate patterns of population distribution that perpetuate segregation. Minority access and achievement were adversely affected. The article presents a summary of some of the efforts of educators in response to the resulting directive(s) of the court in the state of New Jersey.

In her summary, Spears said the purpose of the plan is to provide a multidimensional approach for creating equitable learning experiences and strategies for improving the potential success for all students. the driving theory and motivation seem to be that segregated schools must and can have a plan to combat the negative differences in access to educational opportunities and outcomes that come with meeting legal mandates. While the dimensions of beliefs, politics, and culture, that make desegregation possible, tend to be gradual, and predictably unstable, Spears cited strategies of the plan that seem worthy of attention, if not duplication. A few of Several significant strategies and outcomes, in the three school districts reporting, were cited by Spears. The districts changed course offerings and the criteria for entrance to higher-level course offerings. The supports were put into place to strengthen instruction and promote better student achievement. To serve a broad range of students, after-school, weekend, summer programs and college credit offerings were enhanced. Students were placed in higher-level classes with a “ workshop “ , simultaneously provided, to support skill development and alleviate the decrease in enrollment in those classes. When determined appropriate, a schedule was created to expand from eight to nine periods to better serve students needing to be “on track” and enroll in AP classes.

Chapter 1219 of Phi Delta Kappa is committed to providing other Condensed Professional Readings for Educators(CPR/E) as part of future events and invite all persons interested in sharing a summary of professional articles or books to email Shirley. spears@comcast.net . Further information about PDK International may be found at pdkintl.org..

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