Giving Compass' Take:

• Brendan Lowe reports that BranchED is working to support schools to help increase the capabilities of the minority teacher pipeline, which is currently insufficient to match the number of minority students in classrooms. 

• How can funders help to support the minority teacher pipeline? How can teacher quality be improved while diversity is increased? 

• Learn why it is important for students to have teachers that look like them

As a teacher trainer at a historically black college, Nakeshia Williams runs up against a frequent tension.

Williams, an associate professor at the Department of Educator Preparation at North Carolina A&T State University, regularly meets with area superintendents about hiring her future graduates. She finds officials eager to hire her students — teacher shortages abound in North Carolina — but skeptical of the quality of the teacher preparation they’re receiving.

“A common misconception I’ve encountered is … that the quality you receive at a historically black college or university seems to be less” than that of a predominantly white institution, Williams said.

This challenge is not unique to these schools, experts say, and is shared across institutions of higher education that serve significant percentages of minority students — schools designated by the federal government as minority-serving institutions.

Negative views of such schools are not grounded in reality, according to researchers who study teacher prep programs, but they hamper a pipeline critical to diversifying the teaching workforce, which is 80 percent white. Even though minority-serving institutions represent just 13 percent of colleges and universities, they prepare 48 percent of teachers of color.

Backed by philanthropists like the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, BranchED is offering support in several ways. The most basic support is sharing resources and increasing awareness through newsletters and a private online community. BranchED also organizes conferences for college officials and educators, as well as on-site coaching and guidance.

Thanks to interest from non-minority-serving institutions, BranchED’s events now attract administrators from a broader array of universities and even from K-12 schools.

Read the full article about rethinking the minority teacher pipeline by Brendan Lowe at The 74.