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Published: Saturday, 3/26/2005

Parents say TPS fails in diversity


The head of a group representing Toledo Public Schools parents said the district has failed to adhere to a multicultural education policy that was adopted four years ago.

She is urging the school district to begin enacting the policy.

The school board adopted the policy in May, 2001. It requires diversity in hiring, contracting, and designing the district's curriculum.

At the time, officials said it formalized many practices the administration already was doing.

But Lola Glover, executive director of the Coalition for Quality Education, said none of the recommendations or timelines regarding the curriculum has been followed.

"The textbooks do not reflect the multicultural atmosphere of the district," Mrs. Glover said. "When it is reflected, it is in vignettes. And in the case of African Americans, their contribution to history has been great."

More than 46 percent of Toledo Public Schools students are black compared to 40.6 percent in 1995 and about 35 percent in 1985.

Board member Peter Silverman, chairman of the curriculum committee, said the policy would be re-examined, but he disagreed with Mrs. Glover about the district's textbooks.

"To my knowledge, we try to integrate a multicultural approach in all our classes," he said.

"In all of our reading series, you can read about other cultures all over the world, and I think when you look at our textbooks they reflect the world."

The policy in question states that "multicultural education will be integrated in curriculum and instructional strategies to the school district's diverse student population. Cultural exchange/enrichment programs will be supported by the district and community as opportunities to enhance student understanding and appreciation of different cultures."

Ms. Glover, who addressed school board members during their meeting Tuesday night, vowed to return to each monthly meeting.

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