Diversity: The quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
Training: The action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior.
Recently the Rochester City School District spent $49,000 on diversity training for its staff.
Justin Murphy of the D&C writes, “Nearly every adult with serious sway in the Rochester City School District spent at least two full days this week being trained in culturally responsive education and anti-racism, fulfilling a directive from the school board to learn how structural bias affects the city’s 30,000 students at school as well as at home.”
He continues to state in his article, “Every top district administrator, from the interim superintendent down, spent two full days in DeGruy’s workshop. They were joined by union leaders, parent representatives, school board members and members of the community task force on school climate.”
This nearly $50 thousand dollar investment of the district is simply another in a long line of professional development workshops in which those who are only distantly connected to student learning receive directly while classroom teachers receive an invitation only, ad hoc style, after school or summer professional development in which the information presented is relevant only as long as the training session itself.
While this is a positive attempt to address the negative direction of the district’s success, it does little to effectively and efficiently correct the prejudicial beliefs and attitudes of all members of the school community.
Hatred is a multi-lane highway full of deadening potholes of which racism is only one.
A three hour “diversity training” workshop will do little to eradicate the hundreds of years of hatred that has Americans believing that skin color and socio-economic prowess determine intelligence.
Our children deserve to be appreciated for their gifts and talents. We must change our current system of education so that it acknowledges and respects the gifts and talents of everyone in and out of the school community.
We must teach our educational leaders the skill of loving the many different forms, types, and ideas our children possess.
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