Giving Compass' Take:

• The racial demographics of the teacher workforce have remained stagnant, despite public school classrooms becoming more diverse each year. That is why the Walton Family Foundation is working on a collaborative effort with other organizations to enhance teacher diversity through recruitment, development, and retention strategies. 

• Which other philanthropists are working to address the issue of teacher diversity? How are donors collaborating with their own networks?

• Read more about how teacher diversity is not keeping pace with student diversity. 

As the demographics of our country continue to change, we can see it in even more starkly in classrooms. Public school classrooms across the country are increasingly filled with students of color, especially Latino students. Yet, the racial demographics of the American teaching workforce remain pretty much unchanged. In fact, one in five educators identify as people of color, while students of color compose more than 50 percent of the K-12 student population.

Numerous studies show evidence that when students are taught by an educator who looks like them they are more likely to feel seen, heard and understood, which leads to deeper relationships and greater student success. Today’s students are the most racially diverse in the history of this country and it’s time to have teachers who match that diversity, which is why I’m so proud of this collaboration with the Walton Family Foundation to diversify the teaching force.

We are looking to fund up to 14 early-stage organizations with bold ideas to enhance the recruitment, development and retention of Black, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American/Alaskan Native teachers in PreK-12 classrooms.

Through the Teacher Diversity funding opportunity, NewSchools will provide funding and management assistance to support innovative strategies and programs that advance educator diversity, including recruiting new diverse teachers to the field, supporting their development and working to retain them. This work will affect teacher pipelines, hiring practices, educator preparation, policy development, and ultimately student outcomes.

Read the full article about teacher diversity by Frances Messano at Medium.