'The faculty can provide the missing cultural diversity'

Last week's suggestion for improving schools called for integrating school populations just as much as possible, particularly in those urban areas where there are many different racial, cultural, and socio- economic backgrounds.

Admittedly, there are isolated areas where the population is too homogenous to create a multicultural environment among the pupils.

But this is not true for faculty and staff.

Here, school district policy can provide the setting for a grand social, racial, cultural, religious, and ethnic mix.

It would be best, of course, if both teachers and pupils came from a variety of cultural, backgrounds. But even if the students are all native Americans, as on the Second Mesa of the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona, the faculty can provide the missing cultural diversity.

Independent schools, too, need to be particularly conscious of artificial homogeneity. They need to be as careful as public schools to include teaches who represent more than one US racial minority. Or if the school population is made up of one of those minorities, the teaching staff should reflect some of the cultural variety throughout the US.

So, as a vacancy occurs, school trustees and administrators should hire not only the best qualified teacher inwhatever skill or subject area, but that person who can add to the cultural pluralism of the full staff.

Next week: Awards!

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