Right now, many public schools are at the center of a very important movement for change in America as a powerful trend toward racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse neighborhoods is taking place in both urban and suburban areas.
In a country that seeks strength through diversity, there is no greater asset than a public school. And when diversity within a school is meaningful and sustained, the impact can be life-changing for the entire school community. The research clearly shows that diversity brings both educational and social benefits for everyone—students, educators, and parents alike.
Unfortunately, this diversity is fragile (as this graphic shows). Much of the research on housing and segregation patterns concludes that for racial and ethnic diversity in demographically changing neighborhoods to stabilize, it requires not only public policies such as strong housing laws, but also a new level of openness to change and a deeper understanding of what racial integration means.
What if this time around we figured out how to truly come together, and stay there?
The opportunity, like the challenge, is enormous. However, with awareness, openness to community dialogue, and commitment to each other, there is real hope that something enduring can be built.
The Public Good – a Public School Support Organization (PSSO) -- uses research to map schools’ needs and assets while enabling educators to realize these educational and societal benefits. We take a systematic, qualitative, research-based approach to understanding a school community. This deep engagement allows meaningful dialogue with community members about their own positions on issues pertinent to diverse schools.
Our research can bring difficult issues inside a community to light in a neutral way, and amplify voices as needed to create a more inclusive and stable community overall through three key approaches:
To learn more about our work, watch the video below from Park Slope Collegiate. This is an example of the videos we help produce for schools that are part of our efforts around strategic communications when school communities decide this is a needed action step to move forward. For more examples, watch these videos from PS 307 and West Side Collaborative.
In addition to our work with school communities, our team works to disseminate research to the broader public and the academic community through multimodal pathways. Below are reports, articles, resource websites, teaching units, and films created by members of our team that can serve as additional resources to individuals and communities engaged in this work.