Minneapolis School District releases disturbing results of workforce diversity study

November 27, 2018 11:04 PM

A year-long examination of the ethnic makeup of employee's within the Minneapolis School District was released Tuesday.

District leaders shared it with the public at a meeting. The report, 'Human Resources Equity and Diversity Impact Assessment', revealed that teachers of color are in short supply at the state's third-largest school district. 

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Minneapolis Public Schools have 5,300 employees district-wide. A third of them are of color. When one looks at the roster of just teachers, diversity drops down to 17 percent. The EDIA study confirmed the Minneapolis School District has a predominantly white workforce.

During interviews and surveys, teachers of color described difficult working conditions and cultural insensitivity. They said negative interactions happen daily, they feel isolated and not supported. They also believe they are put in tough positions or schools based on race.  

As for hiring challenges, teachers of color indicated the district took a passive approach and relied on career fairs or websites, which showed little commitment to real diversity because a minority candidate pool wasn't targeted. 

Eric Moore is the Chief of Accounting for the district and was clearly concerned by the findings.

"As painful as this process has been directly systematically collecting information about their experiences, we are trying to honor their voices by being transparent and making this present for them," he said. "That's part of our collective accountability."

Maggie Sullivan is the Chief of Human Resources and shared in the announcement of a plan of action.

"We are looking at hiring additional recruiting coordinators. One is in the system now, but hopefully, that will help us deeply engage authentically and support a job candidate's experience," Sullivan said.


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Other steps that are expected to be rolled out include increasing the budget to expand recruiting out of state, grow the district's mentorship program, add mediators and equity coaches and hold professional development days to address and dismantle bias. 

Principals at every school will be required to do a cultural assessment and the district will conduct routine check-ups on the plan's progress.

The goal is by improving educator diversity, that will have a positive impact on students, 65 percent of whom are ethnic. 

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Credits

Beth McDonough

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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