A few years ago I sat in during a professional development seminar on a topic new to me, then known as the “doughnut effect“, While I initially thought this would top the charts of the most boring seminar I’ve ever been through, it in fact turned out to be the most interesting.
Essentially, looking at the map in the link above you can see that the middle of the country is losing people to the states on the edges, the water access. If you overlay this map with ethnicity you’d see the effect is greatest amongst whites — fleeing to the shores as the white population, becoming a minority population in not too distant future, ages and seeks the warmth of the beach.
The educational field has its own doughnut effect when it comes to parental participation and student focus. Just think about kindergarden and first grade graduation ceremonies, parent teacher meetings, and school assemblies. You can’t get a seat and the wait is horrendous to see your kid’s kindergarden teacher. Meanwhile your other kid’s 9th grade algebra teacher is making paper-airplanes and staring into space just down the hall.
Then comes high school graduation. Again, the numbers attending the ceremony, all the out of town family in attendance, the attention placed on this day is not only a big local and national money maker, but it is a sign of social advancement. It’s a recognition of adulthood as kindergarden is a celebration of a educational coming of age. But as the white population and their social codes fade away, an eclectic group, having predominantly hispanic roots, begin to change the flavor of this educational donut to a “churro
Hispanics possessing a more family centric moral code (like the white population of the 40’s and 50’s), predominantly Catholic/Christian religious social code, the focus can be changed to a school system where all grades are considered as important as the earlier and the later grades. This is an opportunity to really look at the school systems and embrace social change, encourage constant parental involvement and more community support, to keep schools on the cutting edge of economic change and technological advancements. School change is not a temporary, occasional event, but a river of constant movement and ever changing flow rates and speed. Now is the time to challenge the doughnut effect in our school system and adopt a school-wide climate of parental and community involvement.

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