In 2002, the Montgomery County, Maryland, Public School (MCPS) system—one of the largest school districts in the United States, and one of its most diverse—engaged our Dialogue to Change approach to address a major achievement gap in test scores between white students and students of color.
Over two decades, the dialogue approach at MCPS expanded to include thousands of administrators, teachers, students, and parents. These conversations on student achievement and parent engagement have led to improved understanding of the impact of structural racism and changes to institutional policies and practices, including new tools for student communication and behavior plans designed with racial equity. In 2013, community dialogues on barriers to parent involvement established culturally proficient, multi-lingual parent support systems.
MCPS continues to use the Dialogue to Change approach to tackle racial disparities in student achievement, including students and staff in facilitation and ongoing training.