Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ECSD Annual "Diversity" Report: Hispanics Remain Significantly Underrepresented In District Hiring


Escambia County Schools are required to complete a “Diversity” report once yearly, wherein certain items are tallied to ensure that the district is being “inclusive” in hiring, student offerings, athletic opportunities, etc. etc.

I have noted several significant issues on our report yearly, and I’ve discussed these issues on more than one occasion.


Whenever I have asked about why Asians are not listed on the report, I get no coherent response, other than a regurgitated “The state does not list this as a category on the report for which they collect data…..” 

Here is the problem with that:  Asians are a significant number of students and residents in our County, a dynamic part of our country at 5% of the population, and a force to be reckoned with in the high tech, STEM world of private industry (more on that below)—yet the Asians are given no representation on our diversity plan; rather, they are lumped into the “other” category.  

That is one problem that needs to be fixed.

But the real acute issue is the lack of Hispanic employees locally….

 This major issue, that I can now say is a chronic issue, is the nearly complete lack of representation in our district’s employee ranks, of Hispanics.  Even though (as of the 2010 census) there are more than 50 Million Hispanic persons in our country, comprising nearly 17% (and growing) of our population, we continue to see minuscule representation of Hispanics in our hiring here at the Escambia County School District.  Up until last year, we had not one (1) Hispanic individual in an administrative position in the district! (In 2013, one (1) Hispanic individual was hired as a middle school assistant principal, but if we are talking quotas, this one hire does little to ameliorate the significant historical under-representation of Hispanics locally in our district)
Now, I have never been one to subscribe to the notion that quotas are good-- and in fact I reject that concept.   I am equally, staunchly opposed to race-based Public University Admissions Preferences.  Thankfully,  so is the U.S. Supreme Court!   

 I want what we see in the real world-- the very BEST qualified candidate to be hired for each job, regardless of race.  Yet quotas are what we seem to be talking with this yearly exercise of going over the “diversity” plan.  So—with all this said---If the issue that our local diversity office is confronting is “lack of representation” among minorities in our employee ranks, then the lack of Hispanic employees locally should be of paramount priority. 

Interestingly, a recent article in USA Today described under-representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the high tech industry, where 46% of users of Twitter are minority, yet only 5% of their employees are either Hispanic (3%) or Black (2%).  Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn all had similarly small total Hispanic and Black employee makeup, at 6%, 5%, 6%, and 6% respectively.  Asian and White males are a dominant majority in these companies.  If the high-tech companies hire the “best of the best” and most of these are Asian Males—is that a problem?  The private market tends to operate under highly competitive conditions-forcing hiring decisions that are based on ability and merit, not quotas.  If Pro Basketball, Football, or Hockey operated on quotas based upon representation percentages of a nation or a community’s demographics, would that even work?  What if the makeup of the organization was determined by the make-up of the consumers of the product?  What if someone said the percentages of players in each sports league had to match as closely as possible the country's demographic?  Football and Basketball would be WAY out of compliance.  Would such mandates be taken seriously, and would they even be legal? Would the level of competition 



be as high as it is absent such artificially imposed quotas?  Thankfully we’ll never know the answers to these questions.
But I digress back into the world of local school district hiring practices and governmental oversight of quota maintenance….
We have a growing Hispanic population in Escambia County, with literally thousands of Hispanic students (more than 5% of our students)—yet we have no Hispanic administrators to speak of and a woefully small number of Hispanic teachers?  This is a big problem that needs to be fixed if the issue to be focused upon is “under-representation.”


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