Advocates Urge Leaders to Examine How Policies Impact Teacher Diversity
May 31, 2019

Earlier this month, the Association of American Educators (AAE) Foundation along with 75 other organizations—including many PIE Network members—joined forces to call for increased diversity in the teacher workforce, urging leaders at the district, state, and national level to come together to address the mismatch between teacher diversity and the students they serve.

According to the AAE Foundation, federal data show that 53 percent of public school students are children of color, while only 18 percent of teachers identify as a person of color.

The organizations sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the chair and ranking member of each of the Congressional committees, urging them to think about both how department regulations do or don’t support teacher diversity and to consider funding research to evaluate solutions.

“We believe that increasing teacher diversity elevates the teaching profession and improves the lives and outcomes of all students.”

The groups call for a broad coalition to work together, reaching past differences on other issues.

Just one day earlier, California Teach Plus Policy Fellows released recommendations for retaining teachers of color in California. Drawn from fellows’ own experience and focus groups with Los Angeles teachers, the report features findings and possible solutions. Their recommendations include:

  • Implement equitable hiring and placement practices that allow teachers of color earlier access to hiring opportunities and help establish diverse teaching cohorts throughout a district.
  • Invest in teacher residencies with strong mentorship and explicit goals for recruiting and retaining teachers of color
  • Prioritize learning opportunities for relevant, research-based professional development such as socio-economic supports and implicit bias training for all staff members
  • Improve organizational conditions by providing ongoing bias and critical race theory training for school administrators and create more pathways to leadership so teachers can lead without leaving the classroom

Interested in connecting with AAE or Teach Plus California to learn more about their strategy and next steps? Reach out.


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Ashley Schmidt

Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications

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