America’s teaching workforce is overwhelmingly white. But as pandemic stresses add up and a tight labor market offers other options, it’s Black and Hispanic educators who are substantially more likely to say they plan to leave the profession, threatening to exacerbate this lack of diversity.

The mismatch between a homogenous pool of teachers and an increasingly diverse student body has only gotten worse over time. In the 1999-2000 school year, 38 percent of public school students identified as people of color, compared with just 16 percent of teachers. In 2017-18, more than half of students were people of color, but the share of teachers of color remained stubbornly low, at 21 percent. This is a troubling trend, particularly since students of color benefit from having access to teachers who look like them. Their test scores, graduation rates and college-going all improve with no adverse effects on white students.

And yet, people of color aren’t being recruited into teaching — at least, not at the pace needed. But our research shows that local, “grow your own” alternative teacher preparation programs can help to strengthen the diversity of the teaching workforce, as well as enable districts to address broader staffing challenges.

We studied six alternative teacher preparation programs in U.S. urban school districts that serve substantial numbers of low-income students and students of color. (The specific districts were kept anonymous in our report to ensure the confidentiality of research participants.) The programs were designed and administered by the organization TNTP in partnership with the local districts.

Read the full article about improving diversity in teaching by Benjamin Master and Christopher Doss at The 74.