Building Integrated Classrooms
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WATCH — The Architect: How One Texas Innovation Officer Is Designing His Schools to Ensure Integration

September 25, 2018

As Mohammed Choudhury tells it, Superintendent Pedro Martinez was never going to convince him to leave Dallas public schools for the San Antonio Independent School District without making clear his commitment to creating schools that would have inclusion and diversity as part of their DNA. It is not enough, Choudhury argues, to create wonderful innovative new schools that succeed in attracting more well-off families to your struggling school district if the district’s own most disadvantaged students are shut out of those schools.

Choudhury, whose title is chief innovation officer, created an enrollment system that ensures that students from all of San Antonio ISD’s so-called income blocks, from those whose families are on the edges of the middle class to those living in extreme poverty, are guaranteed a percentage of the seats in these sought-after schools.

In this one-on-one interview, Choudhury explains the key factors needed to create diverse-by-design schools and how, once the schools are opened and the equity enrollment practices are in place, San Antonio ISD officials hit the pavement to make sure their impoverished families know to apply. “We are not playing around about how families access these schools and how families learn about these schools,” he said. Read more about Choudhury’s history and the results achieved through his San Antonio design. (Click here to read the full 74 Special Report)

— Video Produced by Heather Martino; Edited by James Fields