A community that cares for all children as if they were their own.
Kindred builds trusting relationships between parents of diverse backgrounds and supports them to work with school leadership to drive equity and diversity in their schools and communities.
Now more than ever, our country is in need of dialogue that brings us together. We live in increasingly segregated neighborhoods, but for the first time in history, approximately one-third of schools in our nation’s capital enroll families from diverse socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. Across the country, over 100 school districts and charter schools across 32 states are pursuing school integration policies today.
A wide body of research has established the benefits of diverse schools for students and our broader society*, including:
- Students in integrated schools have higher than average test scores
- Students in integrated schools are more likely to enroll in college
- Students in integrated schools are less likely to drop out
- Integrated schools help reduce racial academic test score gaps
- Integrated classrooms encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.
- Attending a diverse school can help reduce racial bias and counter stereotypes.
- Learning in integrated settings can enhance students’ leadership skills.
- Diverse classrooms prepare students to succeed in a global economy.
Yet simply establishing diverse schools is not enough to close the achievement gap. In schools with diverse student bodies, test scores mirror the results in segregated schools. In Washington DC, students of color and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds score an average of 20-30 points behind their white and upper income peers.
Research shows that the social networks of communities explain the gap in standardized test scores and graduation rates more than any other factor, including poverty.** If we are to close the achievement gap, we need to rethink the role that social networks play in the lives of children, starting with their parents. Yet within diverse schools, parent networks remain stratified. In a national survey of principals of diverse schools, just 35% said that parents of diverse backgrounds have close relationships with each other. Only 13% agreed that their parent-teacher organizations are representative of the student population, and just 22% said they had sufficient time and resources to do something about it.
**Adapted from Stuart Wells, A., et. al. (2016, February 9). How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students and Kahlenberg, R. and Potter, H. (2014). A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education, New York: Teachers College Press, 2014.
*Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of the American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009.