Hayden Frederick-Clarke is the Director of Cultural Proficiency of Boston Public Schools and an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the first to hold the director position and works with four colleagues. In this role, Frederick-Clarke focuses on removing barriers to student success and closing opportunity and achievement gaps.
Frederick-Clarke’s work includes coaching principals and training them on equity principles, visiting and assessing schools, and creating curricula and instructional experiences that better engage students. Currently, Frederick-Clarke said he is creating a suggested reading list for BPS employees, with items ranging from children’s book recommendations for elementary school use to scholarly articles on internalized racism and implicit bias. He also advocated to replace colonial-inspired world maps with more accurate ones and more student-centered, interactive instruction.
To further advance these recommendations, Frederick-Clarke seeks to update state standards.
“Teachers are under immense pressure to abide by the standards but it so happens that standards themselves are often biased,” Frederick-Clarke told the Banner.
Before joining district administration, Frederick-Clarke was a math instructor at Charlestown High School in the DiplomaPlus program, of which he was a founding member and the principal designer. In 2014, Frederick-Clarke won the Facing History and Ourselves International Teacher Recognition Award. The colleague who nominated Frederick-Clarke praised his skill at grounding his teaching in history and students’ lives and in engaging pupils in activism and real-world learning.
“He challenges all of his students to own their learning and to demand understanding. He has a beautiful way of teaching math — through history, through the human experience, through what is happening in the students’ communities,” the colleague wrote.