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Forum’s Focus: Fostering Diverse Educational Environments

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Forum’s Focus: Fostering Diverse Educational Environments
Posted on 03/30/2015

As public schools in Maine and other New England states become more racially diverse, a public forum this week will focus on how to foster diverse educational environments. The Thursday, April 2 event, to be held from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. at the Maine Historical Society in Portland, is titled “Cultivating Diversity in Maine Schools: A Presentation and Public Forum on the Report ‘Diversity in the Distance’ by the UCLA Civil Rights Project.” The event is free and open to the public.

Last year, the Civil Rights Project released that report, which focuses on trends in racial diversity and integration in public schools in Northern New England. The report’s full title is “Diversity in the Distance: The Onset of Racial Change in Northern New England Schools.” The Portland Public Schools are a focus of the report, which offers suggestions on how the local community can avoid the racial segregation between schools that has taken root in other areas of the country by addressing persistent issues ahead of demographic changes.

At the public forum, hosted by the White Barn Center for Research, the report will be presented by its author, Jennifer Ayscue. That presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, which will focus on how Maine can work to create diverse educational environments. Panelists include Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk and Grace Valenzuela, Director of the Portland Public Schools’ Multilingual and Multicultural Center.

In addition to Caulk and Valenzuela, panelists include John D'Anieri, head of Harpswell Coastal Academy; David Ruff, executive director, Great Schools Partnership; Doris Santoro, associate professor of education, Bowdoin College; and Mara Tieken, assistant professor of education, Bates College.

To view the report, click here.

To learn more about the forum and register, click here.