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Diversity and Inclusion Training in School Systems

WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") played a pivotal role in affirming the goal of equality of educational opportunities for all children by persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to issue the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. For four generations, the NAACP has been the nation's leading organization in promoting a quality education for all children; and

WHEREAS, the workforce for schoolteachers in the United States does not reflect the racially diverse population of students. In the 2011 – 2012 school year, White teachers comprised 82 percent of public school teachers, while 51 percent of 2012 elementary and secondary public students were White. Sixteen percent (16%) of students were Black, but only seven percent (7%) of teachers were Black. Further, while 24 percent of students were Hispanic, only 8% of teachers were Hispanic. While five percent (5%) of students were Asian and Pacific Islander, only 2% of teachers were Asian and Pacific Islanders; and

WHEREAS, the National Center for Education Statistics projects there to be an increase in diversity within the school population. Specifically, in 2024, White students will represent only 46 percent of the public school student population, which is a drop from the 51 percent in 2012. The proportion of Hispanic students is expected to increase to 29 percent of the total enrollment in 2024, an increase from 24 percent in 2012. The proportion of Asian and Pacific Islander students is expected to increase to six percent (6%) in 2014 from five percent (5%) in 2012. (It is projected that in 2024, Black students will be 15 percent of all public school students, a statistically insignificant decrease from 16 percent in 2012.); and

WHEREAS, in the 2015-2016 school year, "about 80 percent of all public school teachers were non-Hispanic White, 9 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were non-Hispanic black, and 2 percent were non-Hispanic Asian"; and

WHEREAS, these statistics overwhelmingly support the need for diversity and inclusion training in education, as teachers and school leaders do not come close to reflecting the diversity of the student population; and

WHEREAS, diversity and inclusion training helps ensure that teachers, administrators, and staff, in the classroom and when performing disciplinary, counseling and other management functions, do not unconsciously favor those students perceived to be most like themselves in race, class, and values. Diversity and inclusion training also helps ensure that teaching is culturally relevant, which means consciously working to develop commonalities with all students; and

WHEREAS, diversity and inclusion training should facilitate the students' ability to learn with the designated curriculum and to ensure there are no racial barriers to learning, retention, promotion, avoidance of discipline, participation in extracurricular activities, and educational advancement; and

WHEREAS, diversity and inclusion training should include curricula, textbooks and instructional materials that focus on racial, cultural, socioeconomic and learning differences; and

WHEREAS, those undergoing diversity and inclusion training should be trained on how culture affects specific learning behaviors, resulting, where necessary, in the modification of classroom interactions and instructions to embrace differences.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that all units of the NAACP support and promote the positive impacts of a culturally diverse student population through diversity and inclusion training for all school boards, senior administrative staff, instructional and support staff at every level, and students.

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