Educators 4 Excellence-Chicago has long been active on the issue of teacher diversity, advocating for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to increase the number of educators of color and for the inclusion of coursework on cultural competency for all teacher preparation programs placing teachers in Illinois. Why? In part because research consistently finds that students of color, who make up the majority of the CPS student population, do better when they have teachers who look like them.
In a recent segment on WEBZ Chicago, E4E-Chicago’s Executive Director Acasia Wilson Feinberg and Aaron Talley, a CPS teacher, discussed why educators of color are leaving CPS and how teachers and administrators can reverse this trend.
They also covered why teacher diversity matters to CPS’ white students, who make up less than 10 percent of the student population (while half of CPS teachers are white). “A teacher is often the first leader that we put in front of kids,” Feinberg said. “The impact that it can have for a kid to see—even a white student: This is a black leader. This is someone who is educated and is in a position of authority on a daily basis. I think this is something that’s important for students of color but also for students of all backgrounds and for teachers of all backgrounds.”
For advocates working to increase educator diversity in their communities, this segment features many interesting data points, as well as nuanced arguments to help make the case for why educator diversity is important for all students, as well as the teaching workforce.