How a new data tool can diversify your teaching staff

In one-third of states that make data available, more than one in three students attend a school without a single teacher of color
By: | November 19, 2020
In 27 of 33 states that provide the data, more than one in 10 Latino students attend a school without a single same-race teacher and the same holds true for Black students in 18 states, according to the Education Trust. (GettyImages/RichVintage)In 27 of 33 states that provide the data, more than one in 10 Latino students attend a school without a single same-race teacher and the same holds true for Black students in 18 states, according to the Education Trust. (GettyImages/RichVintage)

District leaders working to build equity in their schools have prioritized hiring more teachers of color so the workforce better reflects the diversity of their students.

The Education Trust nonprofit Thursday released a new web tool, Is Your State Prioritizing Teacher Diversity & Equity?, that provides data and actionable policy recommendations to increase workforce diversity in all 50 states.

The tool has found, for example, that in 27 of 33 states that make student-level data available, more than one in 10 Latino students attend a school without a single same-race teacher. The same holds true for Black students in 18 states.

And in one-third of these states, more than one in three students attend a school without a single teacher of color.


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“The research is clear on how teachers of color benefit students, yet many states continue to struggle to recruit and retain teachers of color,” said Eric Duncan, P-12 data and policy senior analyst at The Education Trust. “This tool gives state leaders and education advocates a clear and accessible snapshot of where they are and what investments, policy areas, and practice-related shifts they should prioritize to ensure we’re giving students a safe, supportive school experience.”

States were rated whether they are meeting, partially meeting or not meeting criteria for several diversity policies.

In Texas, for example, a state with 68% students of color, the teaching force is only 40% of color. Some 2% of Latino students and 6% of Black students attend schools without a same-race teacher.

Is Your State Prioritizing Teacher Diversity & Equity? Click on the photo to use the new tool from The Education Trust.

Is Your State Prioritizing Teacher Diversity & Equity? Click on the photo to use the new tool from The Education Trust.

And in Massachusetts, students of color make up 35% of the population, while only 7% of teachers are of color. More than a quarter of Black students and 21% of Latino students attend school without a single same-race teacher.

The web tool’s Educator Diversity State Policy Report Card provides policy overviews, data, and recommendations based on state-by-state criteria, including:

  • Providing visible and actionable data on the diversity of the educator workforce
  • Setting clear goals for increasing the racial diversity of the workforce
  • Investing in educator preparation programs to increase enrollment and improve the preparation of teachers of color
  • Targeting resources to districts and schools to support efforts to intentionally recruit and hire a diverse teaching workforce
  • Investing in efforts to retain teachers of color including improving working conditions and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth

“For each state, this valuable tool tells us the size of the problem and provides solutions to fix it,” said Lindsay Sobel, Teach Plus vice president of policy and external affairs.


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