An effort that began in summer 2021 to gauge the Madison Metropolitan School District’s equity work found that students, parents and staff are aware of some district efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion but want more involvement and more communication with district administration.
The district partnered with Jerlando Jackson, now the dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, for the work, which included interviews of 380 people. Jackson was the director of the Wisconsin Equity & Inclusion Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until last summer when he left for MSU.
On Monday, Jackson presented the findings to the Madison School Board along with seven recommendations:
• Develop and disseminate a DEI strategic plan
• Create systems of rewards and accountability for MMSD DEI efforts
• Generate a strategy for hiring and retaining teachers of color
• Engage families in DEI efforts
• Review and standardize DEI curriculum and implementation efforts across the MMSD
• Emphasize and advance diversity in all its forms
• Provide transparent, accessible, and safe opportunities for feedback to MMSD leaders
District officials and School Board members suggested changes in response to the audit must work in conjunction with changes resulting from the recent human resources report and the ongoing strategic framework recalibration process. Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said moving toward equity will require a “collaborative effort” with the board, administration and community involved.
“This has got to be all in,” Jenkins said.
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
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