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From the Podcast: Diversity in public schools

Diversity in public schools with Dr. Todd Hoadley of Dublin City Schools, group of diverse kindergarteners smiling together

February 8, 2018

Discussing diversity in public schools with Dr. Todd Hoadley

In this episode of the We Love Schools podcast, host Joel Gagne speaks with Dr. Todd Hoadley, the superintendent of Dublin City Schools in Ohio, about diversity in public schools.

Dr. Hoadley talks with Joel about the increasing diversity in public schools that has coincided with Dublin’s rapid growth since the early 2000s. Dublin is the 10th largest school system in the state with more than 16,000 students, up from only 2,200 students less than 20 years ago.

Last year alone, Dublin City Schools enrolled students from 100 different countries, speaking 61 different languages.

Dr. Hoadley attributes the diversity in public schools in the district to its proximity to Ohio State University, where the graduate program draws students – and their school-age children – from around the world.

Dr. Hoadley calls diversity the “hidden curriculum” that isn’t available in many school districts.

“While our teachers can teach history and they can teach geography, there’s a hidden curriculum that when a student gets to sit down – and not just talk with, but on a day-to-day basis interact – with a student that’s born somewhere else, the culture becomes much more easy to understand,” says Dr. Hoadley, who has been superintendent for five years.

There are challenges that come with such diversity in public schools, including faculty and staff communicating effectively with students of so many language backgrounds.

“We’ve gone from a small, pretty homogenous school district to a large, very diverse district, and so for some of our adults there’s been a major transition,” Dr. Hoadley says. “The professional development that we have provided sometimes has not been to a level deep enough to allow our adults to interact with kids.”

He says it’s also a challenge for students of color to not see as many adult role models that look like them, which they are trying to change through hiring practices.

Asked about a specific example of a benefit of diversity in public schools, Dr. Hoadley points to a student of Hispanic background who arrived speaking very little English. The student recently graduated from Ohio State and is working for a coffee company. He’s traveling internationally and supporting himself and his family.

“It warms my heart, and it is one of the many, many reasons – and I see this each and every day – why public schools have to continue to be the place that opens the door to all families,” Dr. Hoadley says.

Read about the full We Love Schools podcast episode about diversity in public schools. 

Interested in learning more about how the Allerton Hill Consulting team can help your school? Contact us today.

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