State Boards Seek Increased Educator Diversity
Over half of U.S. public school students are children and teens of color, yet only about 8 percent of their teachers and administrators are people of color. Convinced that teacher and leader diversity is an essential component of an equitable education for all students, state boards of education have adopted a variety of strategies to attract, train, and hire diverse staff.
“Black and Latino students tend to achieve when they have teachers who look like them,” said Shuana Tucker, chief talent officer at the Connecticut State Department of Education. A study by four universities demonstrated that black students with at least one black teacher were more likely to graduate from high school and to attend college than those with no black teachers. “And it’s important for white students to see capable people of color in positions of authority, especially for those who have never encountered a black or Latino professional,” Tucker said.
According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, 25 states have launched initiatives to encourage people of color to enter the teacher pipeline, a substantial increase from 19 states in 2017. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and North Carolina are four examples of how states are addressing the need to recruit and retain more educators of color. They have taken significant steps that may provide a roadmap for other states intent on increasing educator diversity. …