Week 3 Discussion 2
Diversity and Cultural Competency” Please respond to the following:
Debate It: Take a position for or against this statement: Government agencies should purpose to hire people from different ethnic, racial, and gender groups. Provide at least two reasons and examples to support your position.
Within the U.S. Department of Education (ED) it will be critical that the agency purpose hiring people from different ethnic, racial, and gender groups. The U.S. population becoming more and more diverse, working with individuals from different backgrounds cannot be avoided. As stated by Norma Riccucci, author of Public Personnel Management: Current Concerns, Future Problems, “as public sector workforces have become more culturally diverse, the ability of supervisors, managers, and coworkers to demonstrate competencies across all landscapes is critical for effective organizational performance.” Ensuring that children are fairly given a quality education regardless of their differences will be a huge task for the ED.
Hiring from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds will ensure a diverse classroom setting for the educational process. In fact, “Public schools in the USA began the 2014-15 school years with an unprecedented demographic profile: For the first time ever, white students are the minority, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Both the percentage and number of white students in U.S. schools are expected to drop slowly but steadily over the next several years, from 50% in 2013 to 45% in 2022. Meanwhile, Hispanic students will grow from 26% to 30% of the school population, with their sheer numbers rising by nearly 3 million.” (Toppo& Overberg, 2014, para. 7). As the dynamics regarding ethnic, racial and gender groups continue to shift, classroom diversity will have to become a priority.
Recommend at least two strategies for how your selected agency provides training and development to increase the knowledge, skills, and competencies of employees, especially at high levels.
Two strategies I would recommend for the U.S. Department of Education in training and development are more engaged goal focused performance reviews and peer to peer mentoring. Give goals, and then follow up a few months later to ensure that those goals are being accomplished. Eric Jackson, contributor for Forbes wrote, “To be effective, the goals have to be top of mind for both the report and the boss throughout the year.” (Jackson, 2012, para. 10). When employees know that their performance review will be given truly based on how they perform, they tend to perform better throughout the year. Peer to peer mentoring can be a very effective practice if properly administered. In many districts across the country, mentoring programs have helped reduce the attrition rate of new teachers. In fact, “Districts like Cincinnati Columbus, and Toledo, Ohio, Rochester, New York, and Seattle, Washington have launched, Peer Assistance and Review Programs, which have sharply reduced attrition rates of beginning teachers by providing expert mentor teachers with release time to coach beginners in their first year on the job and evaluate them at the end of the year.” (Hammond & Ducommun, 2011, para. 17). Retaining and training quality educators will be critical in ensuring that America continues to move forward competitively. Having programs such as this one in place will be the key to educator’s success.
Toppo, G & Overberg, P. (2014). Diversity in the classroom. USAToday. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/01/04/minnesota-school-race-diversity/18919391/
Riccucci, Norma M.. Public Personnel Management: Current Concerns, Future Problems, 5th Edition. Pearson Custom Publishing, 2012. VitalBook file.
Darling-Hammond, L. & Ducommun, C. (2011). Recruiting and Retaining Teachers: What Matters Most and What Can Government Do? The Forum. Retrieved from http://www.forumforeducation.org/news/recruiting-and-retaining-teachers-what-matters-most-and-what-can-government-do
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