WXXI News presents "Degrees of Diversity"

WXXI News presents "Degrees of Diversity"

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 6:45am - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 4:45pm

WXXI News takes an in-depth look at diversity among local teaching staffs in Degrees of Diversity, a weeklong series.

More than 80 percent of public school teachers in the U.S. are white, and a WXXI News investigation has found that the disparity is much more severe in the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions. WXXI News takes an in-depth look at diversity among local teaching staffs in Degrees of Diversity, a weeklong series airing Monday, December 5, through Friday, December 9, during Morning Edition (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and All Things Considered (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) on AM 1370, WRUR-FM 88.5, and WEOS-FM 89.5. The series also can be heard online at WXXINews.org, where all the stories will be archived.

A year-long investigative reporting project, Degrees of Diversity explores how severe the gap is between white teachers and teachers of color, the reasons behind the divide, and how the problem affects student learning. It also will look at the challenges of building a diverse teaching pipeline for future generations.

The five-part series include:

The Overview l Monday, December 5 at 6:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and again at 4:44 p.m. How severe is the shortage of teachers of color in the region? What are the numbers? What do some of the stakeholders say?

The Teacher l Tuesday, December 6 at 6:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and again at 4:44 p.m. Candice Hudson, the only African-American teacher in the Hilton school district, shares her perspective – one of a teacher who sometimes feels isolated.

The Suburbs l Wednesday, December 7 at 6:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and again at 4:44 p.m. Hilton is one of four districts that employ exactly one African-American teacher. Administrators, teachers, and students in the other three – Pittsford, Fairport, and Brighton – discuss how the lack of diversity on teaching staffs impacts students.

The City l Thursday, December 8 at 6:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and again at 4:44 p.m. Research shows that when students of color have few teachers who look like them, there are wide-ranging impacts: test scores suffer; graduation rates decrease; and incarceration rates increase.  About 90 percent of Rochester City School District students are minorities, but about 75 percent of the district’s teachers are white. Rochester teachers and students illustrate why this matters.

The Pipeline l Friday, December 9 at 6:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m. and again at 4:44 p.m. Why is teaching such a white-dominated profession nationally, and especially locally? New research helps provide the answer. The so-called “diversity pipeline” has leaks at every stage.

The series includes a special broadcast of Connections with Evan Dawson with a studio audience recorded live from the Little Theatre at noon Friday, Dec. 9. Visit wxxi.org/events to learn how you can be part of the audience.

Along with stories being archived on WXXINews.org, additional information will be posted – including graphics and data from area school districts. Support for this series is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its Big Footprint project, designed to maximize the impact of public media’s enterprise journalism. 

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