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The 2006 Summit on Leading Diversity April, 2006. National Institute for Urban School Improvement. Educational Disparity in the US; How Corporate America can Respond.

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national institute for urban school improvement

The 2006 Summit on Leading Diversity

April, 2006

National Institute for Urban School Improvement

Educational Disparity in the US; How Corporate America can Respond

The National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI) connects powerful networks of urban local education agencies and schools that embrace and implement data-based, continuous improvement cycles to achieve Education for All.


niusi goals
Increase knowledge and understanding of inclusive practices

Synthesize and expand research-based practices

Leverage existing networks

Engage national discourse to improve educational outcomes for ALL urban students.


Education for ALL

The role of the corporate world in inclusive school reform…..

Creating connections between business and schools

Understanding the role of the business community in ensuring equity and diversity

Developing pathways for mentoring and developing diverse potential employees

“A successful company cannot exist in a failed society.”

Miguel Martí, Vice-President for Communication at Nueva Group

… inclusive ways of knowing and living offer us the only true way to emancipate ourselves from the divisions that limit our minds and imaginations. bell hooks





of every 100 white kindergartners
Of Every 100 White Kindergartners

Source: US Bureau of Census, Current Population Reports, Educational Attainment in the United States; March 1998 (p 20-513) Detailed Tables No. 2

(24 Year Olds)

of every 100 african american kindergartners
Of Every 100 African American Kindergartners

Source: US Bureau of Census, Current Population Reports, Educational Attainment in the United States; March 1998 (p 20-513) Detailed Tables No. 2

(24 Year Olds)

of every 100 latino kindergartners
Of Every 100 Latino Kindergartners

Source: US Bureau of Census, Current Population Reports, Educational Attainment in the United States; March 1998 (p 20-513) Detailed Tables No. 2

(24 Year Olds)

“Kids coming into an institution from different backgrounds bring a different perspective—it’s like bringing fresh eyes to an old problem.”

—Ray Haynes, Ph.D.,

Northrup Grumman Corp.

why is this the case



Why is this the case?
Individuals value cultural diversity as well as cultural similarities, holding respect for the unique characteristics of each individual, and acknowledging the similarities we all share as well.

Individuals believe in the relevance of learning about and valuing customs, traditions and beliefs he or she is unfamiliar with, in order to understand and appreciate cultural diversity better.

Individuals see themselves as agents of change, assuming the role and responsibility of providing students with empowering instruction, being committed with the political nature of their work.

Individuals are aware of the influence cultural knowledge that children bring to school has in their way of thinking, behaving, being and learning.

Individuals are interested in knowing about the lives of their students, getting to know more about student’s experiences outside school.

Values individual’s cultural and linguistic knowledge and skills, using them as resources for moving ahead, instead of focusing on differences or deficiencies

Holds high professional and personal expectations for others

Treats others as competent, assuming their success.

Encourages others to develop a broader and critical consciousness about social inequalities and the status quo.

Facilitates going beyond the constrained ways of knowing, and a single version of truth.

Builds bridges between everyday experiences and new ideas

Encourages individuals to apply cultural knowledge in their work

Supports professional learning so that it becomes a contextualized and meaningful experience.

Leads in multidimensional ways that surface beliefs, feelings and factual information in teaching practices.

Provide organization members with opportunities to consume and create new knowledge, by embracing a “culture of inquiry”.

Promote a collaborative environment, by providing time for teams to share read and think together about what they are doing and how it improves cultural practice

Encourage and organize the use of staff resources to gather and develop knowledge about culturally responsive practices, inside and outside the organization.

Make effective use of everyone’s time, responsibilities and materials to provide learning opportunities about culturally responsive practices in daily work.

Embrace organizational values, beliefs and norms that support culturally responsive professional communities.

Adopt leadership styles that allow collaborative work at the different administrative levels.

Every sphere of human endeavor in education, culture, science, government, business and economics will either guarantee and foster human rights or come to a dead end.

John Dewey

Systems of Privilege and Power


Social Class




Do people know who you are?

What you do?

What jobs/opportunities exist?

What skills/education is needed?


Mentoring--from the Greek word meaning enduring--is defined as a sustained relationship between a youth and an adult. Through continued involvement, the adult offers support, guidance, and assistance.

Educational or academic mentoring helps mentored youth improve their overall academic achievement.

Career mentoring helps mentored youth develop the necessary skills to enter or continue on a career path.


Effects of the Career Beginnings program on college attendance:

Cave and Quint (1990) found participants in various mentoring programs had higher levels of college enrollment and higher educational aspirations than nonparticipants receiving comparable amounts of education and job-related services.

Locally, specific to corporation

Nationally, specific to field

at the school district level
Adopt-a-School Programs

Inspire, mobilize, and reward those on the front lines (from parents to educators) to remake their local schools

At the School/District Level
a different kind of venture capital
At best, our education system does not encourage risk-taking; at worst, it penalizes it. If change is going to occur at the school level, we need to help educators buck the system. Business should fund experimentation that holds out the promise of directly improving student performance and producing measurable results. It should help spread the word about what works so that the best ideas can be replicated.A Different Kind of Venture Capital

With corporate America demanding top talent, institutions must hike enrollment of diverse students Corporate programs should prime the pipeline for diverse students in higher education.

shifting demographics
In 2003

60 percent of the student population at U.S. elementary and high schools was Caucasian, down from 79 percent in 1970.

The African- American population increased from 14 percent in 1970 to 16 percent,

the percentage of Latinos tripled from 6 percent to 18 percent and

the number of Asian Americans rose from 1 percent to 4 percent.

October 2003 Current Population Survey

Shifting Demographics
Institutions are working on ways to boost enrollment of diverse students because corporate America is demanding it. Businesses recognize that an inclusive workforce can better serve and understand an increasingly diverse customer base. And as the demographics in the United States continue to shift, corporations need women and employees of color, whom they often recruit from colleges and universities.University
Admission is merely the first step

Financial constraints often keep students from diverse backgrounds out of the college classroom and corporate leadership positions

Lack of diversity in curricula limits engagement

I need to see myself in your organization---



Success Stories

People like me, visible at all levels of the company

organizing for partnerships
Colleges and Universities

Community Agencies

Advocacy Groups

Professional Organizations

Technical Assistance Centers

Organizing for Partnerships-
develop leadership in house
What opportunities exist for current employees to

Continue their education

Develop leadership skills

Learn about new career opportunities

Be mentored

Develop Leadership in-house
creating a groundswell for change
As employers of millions of people, business is uniquely capable of mobilizing parents as a considerable force for change.

Show parents that you value their involvement in children's education by giving them leave time to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Teach them how to become "school-smart" citizens.

Encourage and reward them for taking active roles in their community's schools.

Creating a Groundswell for Change
No one should make the claim of being educated until he or she has learned to live in harmony with people who are different—A. H. Wilson
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences          ... Audre Lorde