We speak with Dan Callahan, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education in Peekskill City School District, 45 minutes north of Manhattan. The low-income district in wealthy Westchester is 70% Latino, including many students from immigrant families. We discuss how the district has adapted to rapid demographic changes and schools’ role in helping students meet challenges. Mr. Callahan reflects on the decisions he and his staff make that impact students’ lives in very concrete ways, and the tension between consistency, applying the same rules for all students, and specificity, looking at the totality of circumstances in each individual case.
00:36-02:31 Peekskill and its demographics
02:31-03:36 How Peekskill schools have adapted to changing demographics
03:36-08:15 Ethics-infused decisions—balancing competing needs
08:15-08:48 Student data system
08:48-11:11 Addressing inequities systemically
11:11-13:35 Equity in student competitions with wealthy districts
15:04-17:37 District equity audit
17:37-20:13 Immigrant family/school relationships
20:13-22:47 Helping to ease family tensions between immigrant parents and their U.S.- raised children
22:47-27:21 Culturally responsive education
27:21-30:18 Reducing suspensions and disproportional suspensions of Black boys/young men
30:18-32:17 Advice to a new superintendent or assistant superintendent
Click here to see the full transcription of this episode.
Soundtrack by Podington Bear
Photo from twitter.com/PeekskillCSD