Graduate School of Education awarded diversity grant

Portland State’s Graduate School of Education announced on Jan. 10 that it was awarded $113,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust to fund an initiative to increase the number of school administrators of color in Oregon. The two-year program Project Leadership for Equality and Diversity, aka Project LEAD, will be managed by GSE Professors Deborah Peterson and Susan Carlile and the Initial Administrator Licensure program.

Project LEAD targets school districts with a minority student population of 50 percent or more.

The Oregon Department of Education reports 36 percent of Oregon K-12 students are students of color, while only 10 percent of teachers and 11 percent of administrators come from minority populations. Only nine percent of individuals training to be administrators are people of color.

The grant hopes to double the number of Oregon school leaders who are bilingual and/or people of color.

“This grant is the next step in our long-time work for our curriculum to be culturally responsive and our efforts to increase the diversity of school leaders in Oregon,” Peterson said in a press release.

“With these funds, we will be able to convene educational leaders who better reflect the diversity of our students. We will be able to inform curricular changes, increase the capacity of districts to support future leaders and/or future leaders of color, and support a mentoring program for first-year bilingual future leaders and/or leaders of color.“

The funds will also assist in building partnerships with “leaders of tribal nations, Oregon Association of Latino Administrators, Oregon Leadership Network, PSU’s Bilingual Teacher Pathway program, PSU’s American Indian Teacher Program and The Chalkboard Project.”