In August 2020, Mansfield ISD hired a director to focus on the needs of diversity, equity and inclusion within the district.
An advisory council, comprised of students, staff, businesses and organization members, was formed shortly thereafter to provide support, feedback and guidance to the Board of Trustees about DEI related issues.
In October, the director of diversity, equity and inclusion led an audit conducted by TASA-CMSi to examine the district's current processes and procedures.
Findings from the audit focused on five key areas: vision and policy, academic achievement, equity and access, culture and climate and curriculum. The findings and recommendations for each key area will be used to create a strategic plan.
Vision & Policy
- Finding 1.1 | Policy should more clearly define expectations and direction for equity and inclusion and the work required to eliminate opportunity gaps.
- Finding 1.1 | District performance overall exceeds state averages, but students of color consistently score below their peers, with the exception of Asian students.
- Finding 1.2 | Economic need in Mansfield ISD is a strong predictor of performance on state tests. Not all students have equal access to effective learning environments.
- Finding 1.3 | For the most at-risk students, opportunity gaps are evident and are not consistently narrowing over time. For some groups, without extreme intervention, the gaps will never narrow.
Equity and Access
- Finding 1.1 | Economic isolation at campuses contributes to lower student performance and is compromising the benefits of the district’s diversity.
- Finding 1.2 | The diversity of the student population in Mansfield ISD is not represented in its personnel.
- Finding 1.3 | Identification of students for special programs and participation in AP is not proportional with students' representation in the district population.
- Finding 1.4 | The rates at which students dropout, are retained or are disciplined, when examined by race/ethnicity, gender and student group, are not proportional. Financial allocations to schools are not clearly linked to schools’ level of need.
Culture and Climate
- Finding 1.1 | Mansfield ISD has adopted cultural blindness in addressing issues of bias and discrimination. The need for training and improved understanding has resulted in a school climate that is uncomfortable for some students and actively hostile for others.
- Finding 1.1 | The written curriculum, although comprehensive in scope and quality, is weak on offering sufficient suggestions and resources that support differentiating instruction for diverse learners with a variety of needs.
Based on the data from the survey, documents, samples of student work and interviews, the auditors developed a set of recommendations to address the gaps and weaknesses identified in the findings of the equity audit.
- Adopt a clear vision and specific expectations for equity
- Equity planning
- Professional development and coaching
- Curriculum design, development and delivery
Diversity is the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.
Equity is the distribution of resources that are directly related to the recipient's need.