This week’s question (and the first question of the school year) is:
How are school districts responding to the call to increase the racial/ethnic diversity of our country’s teaching force?
This question, and the columns providing responses, comprise a special project being guest-hosted by Travis Bristol, PhD (Stanford Center For Opportunity Policy in Education) & Terrenda White, PhD (University of Colorado-Boulder).
Here’s an introduction from Dr. White:
As the nation’s children return to school for a new academic year, several organizations have taken important steps to ensure that the teachers who greet them are more racially diverse than in years past. Their work comes at a pivotal moment, due to the nation’s teacher shortage, which has gained recent attention in prominent media from NY Times, NPR, and popular education blogs such as Cloaking Inequity. Current efforts to supply schools with an adequate number of qualified teachers, however, should not be divorced from efforts to diversify the teaching force or strengthen the retention of teachers already in the classroom. In a previous series on this blog, researchers described the value of a racially and ethnically diverse teaching force as a dimension of school quality and an important mechanism for improving learning and engagement for all students. So in light of what we know from research, and the national shortage of teachers in schools, this week’s blog turns to those who have taken active steps to supply our nation’s schools with a highly qualified and racially diverse cadre of teachers.
Part one of this three-part series will feature examples from school districts that have implemented innovative strategies to recruit and retain teachers of color. Part two will feature the work of universities, schools of education, and teacher preparation programs. And part three will spotlight the work of alternative teacher preparation programs and charter schools, as well as community-based efforts on the part of parents. For each part, we hope that readers will share their thoughts and knowledge about innovative efforts to improve teacher diversity in the nation.
Please share your thoughts in the comments or, if you prefer, feel free to email them to Larry.
And,if you missed any of the highlights from the first four years of this blog, you can find a categorized list of posts here, along with an “all-time” list of the ones that have been most popular.
Education Week has published a collection of posts from this blog -- along with new material -- in an ebook form. It’s titled Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching.
Last, but not least, Larry records a weekly eight-minute BAM! Radio podcast with educators who provide guest responses to questions. You can listen and/or download them here.
The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.