Making Democracy Work

Education K-12 & Quality Multicultural Education

We support policies and procedures to ensure communication between each school board and its community; inter-distict cooperation; citizen involvement in the formulation of school goals and curriculum; maintenance or improvement of education quality and efficiency; and establishment of consistent, adequate and equitable funding.

I. School Accountability Through Program Evaluation

(1976, revised 1984, reworded 1985, 1989, and 2000)

  • An opportunity for teachers, administrators, staff and community members to understand the evaluation process and work together to determine how to improve educational quality.

  • Utilization of in-service courses, workshops, consultants and opportunities for conferring with colleagues to plan and exchange ideas to improve the quality of teaching.

  • Periodic school board review of staff evaluation procedure, and a process for interaction between the community and the school board to report progress on improving school programs.

II. District Goals and Advisory Committees:

  • Each school board needs to have a clearly defined policy on the role and function of school site and district advisory committees to encourage dialogue with the community on district goals and objectives, with periodic reassessment of those goals and objectives.

III. School District Planning

(1979, reworded 1980, 1984 and 2000)

  • Formation of an inter-district long range planning committee with representatives from all local districts, to explore possibilities for shared services and organizational alternatives.

  • Formation of a long range planning committee within each school district.

  • Broad based representation of staff, administration and community on both district and inter-district committees.

  • Changes in existing organization of school districts should do the following: make efficient use of all resources; maintain or improve the quality and variety of instructional offerings/styles, support services and teacher quality; and strive to reach an optimum pupil/teacher ratio.

(revised 1984, reworded 1989 and 2000)

Quality Multicultural Education

We support quality multicultural education for every student in South San Mateo County. Multicultural education incorporates diverse concepts from different ethnic groups and cultures into a variety of subjects in the classroom.

It creates an educational environment that challenges each student to achieve his/her full potential, that ensures the development of human dignity, and that develops respect for individuals.

It is a necessary component of successful integration. It does not depend on proportional quotas or numerical requirements.

I. Curriculum

  • Curriculum and instructional materials should reflect a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and historical perspectives, and deal with stereotypes, prejudices, and racism in an ongoing human relations program, with the goals of building self awareness, self esteem, and sensitivity to others.

  • Multicultural education, including bilingual education, should be available to all students, and the curriculum and instructional materials should be evaluated on a regular basis.

II. Students and Staff

  • Students should have equitable access to facilities, classes, activities and services, with consideration for individual needs, and be encouraged to share the responsibilities of dealing with school problems and issues.

  • Extensive, appropriate in-service training, including human relations training for all staff, planned by teacher/staff/community representatives, should be ongoing in order to facilitate by movement toward integration and implementation of quality multicultural education.

  • Hiring policies and practices should be employed to ensure multicultural staff in all schools who are able to work cooperatively and be responsive to the community they serve.

  • Assignments of students to and within schools should provide them with a supportive environment and must not create a feeling of isolation.

III. Community

  • The school should generate a sense of community, trust and acceptance so that all concerned feel that they are members of the school family and welcome to volunteer at the school site.

  • Representation of parents and community on school site and district committees should reflect the diversity of the district, with meetings scheduled for maximum participation.

  • Parents should be kept informed of changes in the educational program that affect their children, and information on school policies and procedures should be available to all parents, with language translation as necessary.

  • Schools should take advantage of community resources, such as cultural institutions, businesses, social service agencies and institutions of higher learning.

  • The media should be kept informed regarding district plans and encouraged to provide coverage that will reach all segments of the community.

IV. Criteria for Equitable School Desegregation Plans

School desegregation plans should:

  • Have a structure for broad-based community input and participation in the creation, implementation and evaluation of the plan.

  • Include the components of quality multicultural education.

  • Encourage the election of a school board that reflects the diverse composition of the community.

  • Aim for equitable sharing of any burden of change (school closure, student/staff asignment, and transportation) among all sectors of the community.

  • Provide for a desegregated staff, administration and student population at all school sites and in individual classrooms.

  • Give each student the opportunity to attend a school in his/her vicinity for several of his/her school years.

  • For full text of the position adopted in 1979, see From Desegregation to Integration: The Multicultural Approach, 1979 by the League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County, California, Appendix, pages 35-37.

(1979, reworded 1989, 2000)