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You are the only Latino faculty member at an award winning secondary school in an urban school district.

The principal, an African-American male, former marine with upper middle-class values, is the only administrator in the building. There are 15 teachers on the staff and all of them are white, except for the counselor, who is Puerto Rican. The custodian is an African-American female. In addition to the principal, there are two other male educators in the building, a social studies teacher and a science teacher. You have been working here for ten years. The school only has 200 students, approximately 50 per class. The majority (70%) of the students are Latino and Latina. There are a handful of African-American students (13%) and the rest of the students (17%) are white. The faculty and staff seems to get along well, however when the team members discuss students in academic trouble they seem more understanding of non-Latino/a students.

In a recent meeting, 39 students were placed on academic warning, contract, or probation. Twenty-one were Latino/a, nine were Black males, five were Black females, three were white males, and one was a white female. The other faculty members seem unaware of the disproportionate number of minorities in academic trouble. You suspect, although you are unable to prove it, that the faculty is culturally biased. After the meeting, you discuss this concern with the counselor who agrees with you.
Student Latino Afr-Am White Sch Pop Tot 70% 13% 17% Need Help 11.5% 8% 2% % of ID for Help 54% 36% 10%

You cannot approach your principal because he thinks the staff is the best in the city. He believes that all students have equal access to success, and that race, gender, and economics are no longer significant factors in the educational arena. You are becoming more and more

concerned about the disparity in achievement at your school. The counselor confides in you that three of the most successful Latino/a students have requested transfers because of personal reasons. At the Hispanic civic association meeting, one of the most influential leaders complains that Latino/a and African-American students are being treated unfairly at your school.

Ethical Simulation Possible Solutions As educators, we have a professional responsibility to treat all students fairly and compassionately while delivering curriculum that challenges all students. Federal and state laws and mandates dictate what prescribed curriculum encompasses and demand that all students should be given access to said curriculum. Differentiating instruction based on ability, interest and need is paramount when to deliver instruction effectively. It appears that this school may have lost this focus for what should drive their instruction and goals. Looking through a communitarianistic lens, I think this school should capitalize on its diversity. Incorporating and embracing the cultural diversity will continue to help this award winning school advance even further. The faculty would be wise to develop and articulate shared values that can then be shared with students (so they know that the staff expects the best of all kids no matter their ethnicity) and with the community (to alleviate concerns that populations are being treated unfairly). If the faculty seems to get along well, caring and trust are foundational elements already present. Thus, with minimal guidance, the principal can lead the difficult conversations that need to occur when examining the data regarding students on academic warning, contract, or probation. The principal needs to fulfill his expected role to conduct awareness activities concerning student progress and potential biases. Perhaps a diversity training workshop would be effective. This would uncover hidden bias and lead

discourse on how to best communicate with and motivate students of diverse backgrounds. Any and all of these ideas will serve to benefit the community as a whole and strengthen both the relationships and leadership capacities of the staff and students. Additionally, there are some specific tangible actions that can happen with the cooperation of the principal. I think it is important for the principal to work towards more diversity on the staff itself. It is predominantly female and predominantly white. This is not a true reflection of the student body make-up or the outside world. When qualified minority and male candidates are available, every effort should be made to fill vacancies with different faces. In the meantime, the principal and staff may need to reach out to the community to utilize minority volunteers in mentor roles. Perhaps students can become partners in community internships after school and during the summer. This will give the students a greater sense of purpose and motivation for why school is important (hopefully decreasing the number of students on academic warnings, etc). As well, developing community service partnerships and encouraging students to complete community service projects benefits the larger society. This becomes a win-win for students and their families as education becomes a recognized value. All of the solutions offered seek to balance the current ethical situation with the benefits that communitarianism offers. The communitarianistic options lead to less selfishness on the part of the staff (currently perceived to be unwilling to discuss possible cultural biases). The proposed options promote dispersed leadership since accountability for addressing the problem goes from the principal to the entire staff. As well, collaborative efforts are expected between and among staff as well as with the community at large. Finally, the proposed solutions encourage moral solutions and discussions that will benefit current and future students.