Sunday, January 27, 2013

21st Century Leadership in Schools with Changing Demographics

Recently, the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy released an updated study entitled "Racial and Economic Diversity in North Carolina's Schools: An Update." The study by Charles T. Clodfelter, Helen F. Ladd, and Jacob L. Vigdor, had some interesting bulleted points regarding the demographic status of North Carolina Public Schools.
  • Since the early 1990s with the end and weakening of school desegration policies and measures, North Carolina schools became increasingly segregated. In other words, racial isolation has increased.
  • Within school districts in North Carolina, where schools have higher shares of minority students, teachers in those schools have weaker credentials.
  • With growth of enrollment of Hispanic students in North Carolina, school integration is no longer just a black-white issue. Hispanic enrollment has grown from 1.5 percent in 1994-95 to 13.3 percent in 2011-12.
  • Though it appears the racial imbalance has stopped growing, the economic status imbalance has increased and is still increasing.
The next logical question is, What does this mean for educational leaders in North Carolina as we move further into the second decade of the 21st century?

It means we as 21st century school leaders are going to be leading less diverse educational communities.

It means we as 21 century school leaders are going to have to make sure our students gain understandings of diverse cultures because many are attending schools where multicultural experiences are lacking.

It means we as 21st century school leaders must recognize the continued need to grow in understanding and knowledge of Hispanic cultures.

Finally, it means that we as 21st century school leaders must find ways to mitigate the growing economic imbalance in our student population.

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