The lack of racial diversity among Massachusetts teachers — a growing concern across the state — can be traced to not enough people of color enrolling in educator programs at local colleges, according to a Globe review of state data.
There is a critical question unanswered in this reporter’s story on teacher diversity. Namely,how does the racial diversity of students enrolled in other academic programs at local Massachusetts colleges compare to those enrolled in teacher preparation programs?
We need to stop comparing the diversity of new teachers to that of K-12 students as a way to think about policy problems and solutions. We cannot solve problems of teacher diversity by ignoring the fact that college students are not as diverse as we’d like to begin with. It’s just not a “public relations” problem about the teaching profession- it’s a problem with the larger pool. For example, according to Peterson’s, Bridgewater State University, a large provider of teachers cited in the article, is 80% white overall. Framingham State is 75% and Salem State is 70%.
More college success policies and programs will help diversify the teacher workforce.
Also, why were there no new teachers on the educator diversity taskforce who could better inform why people like them make the decisions they do about careers?
I have other comments on the report for another time.