The Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at Portland State University $113,000 to fund Project LEAD (Leadership for Equity and Diversity), a two-year effort to increase diversity among Oregon’s school leaders.
The project’s goal is to recruit and train school administrators of color, which will increase the pool of diverse school leaders in Oregon. The grant is from the Trust’s Equitable Education Portfolio.
Over 36 percent of Oregon’s pre K–12 student population are students of color. The Oregon Department of Education reports that only 10 percent of Oregon’s teachers and 11 percent of Oregon’s administrators are educators of color.
Many of Oregon’s students of color may never have a school leader who mirrors their diversity. In all of Oregon’s seven principal preparation programs, only 9 percent of participants are educators of color.
With this grant, Porject LEAD could more than double that number of Oregon administrators who are bilingual and/or leaders of color.
The program will focus on school districts that are identified with more than 50 percent students of color and where few or none of the school leaders are bilingual and/or leaders of color.
The grant will support an advisory council that is more representative of the diversity of Oregon’s school children.
Led by the advisory council, this grant will increase partnerships with leaders of tribal nations, Oregon Association of Latino Administrators, Oregon Leadership Network, PSU’s Bilingual Teacher Pathway program, PSU’s American Indian Teacher Program and The Chalkboard Project.
“With these funds, we will be able to convene educational leaders who better reflect the diversity of our students,” said Deborah Peterson, associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy department.
“We will be able to inform curricular changes, increase the capacity of districts to support future leaders and/or future leaders of color, and support a mentoring program for first-year bilingual future leaders and/or leaders of color.“