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75 Education Organizations Seek to Address Teacher Diversity

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Research has shown that teacher diversity helps close the achievement gap for students of color, and improves educational outcomes for all students.

Bluum is joining seventy-five education organizations—representing teachers, preservice teachers, school counselors, education staff, principals, superintendents, charter school leaders, education reformers, tutors, and teacher educators—signing a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, calling for action to address the lack of teacher diversity.

Nationwide, 53% of public school students are children of color but only 18% of teachers identify as a person of color. For example, in Idaho, Hispanic students make up 18% of students enrolled in K-12 public schools1, yet Hispanics represented only 2% of teachers in Idaho during the 2015-16 school year.2 We can and should do more to address teacher diversity in the Gem State.

State spending of over 1.6 billion on public education indicates a deep desire to improve education for all in this state. Though not the single solution to better outcomes for students of color, increasing teacher diversity is one way to increase student achievement by helping all of our students feel welcomed, represented, and affirmed. For this problem to be fixed, it has to be discussed openly and frequently.

From AAE Foundation’s Letter on Teacher Diversity: “Solutions must take into account (1) the unquestionable value of a highly qualified teaching corps that reflects the community it serves, not only for students of underrepresented populations but for all students and all teachers, (2) that numerous barriers to entry into the teaching profession pipeline are likely contributing to the problem, but simply lowering barriers may do more harm than good, and (3) that other problems impacting teacher morale, training, support, respect, and lack of leadership may also contribute to lack of teacher diversity.”

Join us in building awareness about teacher diversity by talking openly about the issue, and asking your school and local policymakers to find ways to increase teacher diversity and improve education for all students in Idaho.

Read the letter and learn more at http://www.aaeteachers.org/diversity

  1. https://icha.idaho.gov/docs/Hispanic%20Profile%20Data%20Book%202017%20-%20FINAL%20(2%2023%2017).pdf, Page 78
  2. https://icha.idaho.gov/docs/Hispanic%20Profile%20Data%20Book%202017%20-%20FINAL%20(2%2023%2017).pdf, Page 111