GREENFIELD – Out of 180 school districts with more than 1,500 students, the Greenfield School Department ranked No. 1 in terms of representation of women at the administrative level.
The report, published by the Boston-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, was based on a scoring system that took into account whether a district had had a female superintendent in the past 10 years, along with percentages of women directors in the district. and the composition of the district school board.
The report notes that the gender analyzes for the study included only male and female categorizations, given limitations in accessing data on non-binary and transgender individuals in published data systems.
Greenfield, the only Franklin County school district included in the report, received 100 points, compared to the finalist Lincoln-Sudbury with a score of 94.3 points.
“It’s quite fascinating,” said school committee chair Amy Proietti. “We shook it.”
With the recent hiring of Superintendent Christine DeBarge, the Greenfield School Department is celebrating 13 years of having superintendents who are women.
“We also have a long history of women on school committee members,” she added. “I noticed that they didn’t see us as having a female assistant superintendent, but we do now. It’s pretty cool that we’re a leader that way.
The district also recently hired Christina Huff as the vice-principal at Greenfield High School.
Proietti noted that the search only included schools with enrollments greater than 1,500, which in Franklin County would only include Greenfield.
“I wonder how much of a measure it really is,” she said. “But it is certainly interesting.”
According to the report, despite the fact that women make up 75% of the state’s faculty and, overall, outperform men in terms of education and experience, they only hold 39% of superintendents.
“I can’t explain why there is this difference,” DeBarge said. “I feel like through my own interview process, most recently, the committee was looking for the best candidate for the district – looking at the candidates objectively. ”
DeBarge said that across the district, Greenfield is fortunate to have “very strong, highly skilled and very caring administrators.”
Proietti said that while it was a “thrill” to top the list, the district is still looking for ways to improve.
“We are working so hard to find an anchor to attract teachers and administrators who are like our students,” she said. “We’re not even close to there.”
Like other districts around Greenfield, she said, the district’s workforce is not representative of its students, a significant portion of whom are people of color.
“We know it is damaging,” she said.
Of the 180 districts included in the report, 80% of the districts had never had a superintendent of color and, in general, people of color were seriously under-represented at all levels of public education.
“I hope that soon we will take a little momentum to attract educators who are like our students,” she said. “It’s important for them to see people doing jobs that they can do. “
Journalist Mary Byrne can be reached at email@example.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne