Giving Compass' Take:

· Education Dive talks with Eric Horsley, a participant in the Leading Men Fellowship, about his efforts to encourage young Black males to succeed in school and pursue a career in early-childhood education. 

· Why is it important to diversify the education workforce?

· Read more about the importance of African-American male educators.

Eric Horsley didn’t come from a family of educators, and he was the first in his family to walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma. But it hasn’t taken him long to pick up the language of the teaching profession.

He talks about examining assessment results, choosing the students he will tutor based on that data and finding books that target the particular early literacy skills where children need help. “I can see the growth,” he said in an interview.

A 2017 graduate of Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C., Horsley has spent the past school year working in a pre-K classroom at Neval Thomas Elementary School as part of the Leading Men Fellowship, a project of The Literacy Lab designed to attract young black males into early-childhood education and support them as role models in their communities.

“We want them to see this as a college and career pathway,” said Ivan C. Douglas Jr., a program manager at The Literacy Lab.

According to federal data, black males make up only 2% of the teacher workforce and likely much less in preschool and the early grades. But studies continue to show better educational outcomes for black male students when they have a black male teacher, compared with when they don’t — including being less likely to drop out and more likely to apply to a four-year college. Referring to research by Seth Gershenson of American University and three co-authors, David Figlio, dean of the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, wrote in this articlethat the benefits are especially strong for black males from low-income homes.

Read the full article about early-childhood education by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.