I am disappointed with the Iowa City school board’s decision to move forward with the diversity policy as written. Why is the diversity policy and its importance to the community any different from the recent redistricting policy presented in 2010-11 when various committees were formed to provide input as to our schools’ boundaries and listening posts were scheduled throughout the community? Why did the board feel it was imperative to have public input when redistricting was being considered even though not every student/family in the district would be affected?
Superintendent Stephen Murley has publicly stated that this diversity policy will impact every family/student in the district, yet only a select few individuals on the east side of town have been able to provide much input. The fact that the district’s teachers’ union does not support this policy should be cause for concern.
The board has an opportunity to bring this community together in drafting a diversity policy with measurable goals. This should involve the board slowing the process down in order to obtain thorough input from the entire community.
Additionally, I urge the board to consult the National School Boards Association’s manual “Achieving Education Excellence for All: A Guide to Diversity-Related Policy Strategies for School Districts” at www.nsba.org/educationexcellenceforall.
(children attend Van Allen