Only 5% of Mass. school superintendents are people of color, report finds

By Stephannie Joseph
November 10, 2021

People of color are underrepresented in public school leadership across Massachusetts, holding just 5% of superintendent posts, according to a new report from the Eos Foundation and Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

Researchers presented their findings in a webinar Tuesday to highlight the challenges people of color and women face as they pursue top leadership positions in public schools.

The report found that in 2020, Massachusetts districts employed 14 superintendents of color, eight women and six men.

“That cohort is so small,” said Lawrence Superintendent Cynthia Paris, a Latina. “It’s so disheartening to know that I’m only joined by seven other of my (female) colleagues.”

Former Lowell and Wellesley superintendent Karla Baehr said part of the problem could be solved by increasing diversity within predominately white and male superintendent search organizations, like the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and expanding their connections.

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