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Port: Why do we have a double standard for diversity in education?

Mary Stark Elementary School second-grade student Chase Gumeringer uses an iPad with his classmates in teacher Tammy Bopp’s room in Mandan in 2016. (MIKE MCCLEARY, BISMARCK TRIBUNE)

Over the weekend my colleague Helmut Schmidt published an article about the lack of gender diversity in leadership positions in our schools in this region. But what caught my eye was that another lack of diversity was, while mentioned, not identified as a similar sort of problem:

"About 72 percent of all K-12 educators are women, according to Department of Education figures cited by the American Association of School Administrators.

"But a 2015 AASA study found women make up just 27 percent of those holding a superintendency, up only 2 percent from 2010."

It’s always fair to ask questions when so large a disparity in diversity exists. Are women kept out of leadership positions because of sexism? Is it because women, in the aggregate, don’t pursue career paths in education which lead to administrative positions? We should find out, and fix what policy or procedural barriers there may be to female advancement.

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