Teaching high schools get a boost as New York City works to diversify its educator corps

Programs aimed at cultivating high school students interested in making teaching a career are undergoing a significant expansion in New York City, in the city’s latest effort to diversify its teaching force.

The city is set to go from five teaching-themed high schools two years ago to 25 schools with courses or clubs meant to set students on a path to heading their own classrooms.

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Rashiid Coleman
Research on Teachers of Color

Teachers of color are under-represented in public schools across America, yet research over decades has indicated their positive impact on students. A first-of-its-kind research handbook, set to be published in 2020, will address key issues and obstacles to ethnic and racial diversity in the teaching ranks such as recruitment and retention, professional development and the role of minority-serving institutions.

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Rashiid Coleman
Dearth of Black Male Teachers Discussed at Colloquium

Colleges and universities should be much more aggressive in recruiting and preparing Black males to become school teachers. That was one of the many sentiments expressed on Thursday among scholars and practitioners who gathered at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Dublin.

The number of Black males in the U.S. teacher workforce continues to hover at about 2 percent – a dismal number — that former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tried to tackle back in March 2012 when he launched a national initiative aimed at recruiting and training 80,000 new teachers.

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Rashiid Coleman
Slam poetry league founder: 'Teachers can't afford to be quiet' about race | We the People

Matthew Kay first learned to tell stories as a child growing up in Germantown, by creating them with his mom.

“We’d see an old woman walking a dog and she’d be like, ‘What’s her story?’ And I’d be like, ‘Well, that’s the dog’s grandmother,’ ” Kay said.

Today, Kay, a 34-year-old English teacher at the Science Leadership Academy, a magnet high school in Center City, helps Philly teens learn to tell their own stories through Philly Slam League, a slam poetry league he founded eight years ago that draws an average of 300 students a week from 22 schools across the city.

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Rashiid Coleman
Teacher Recruitment Starting in High School

“Don’t come back here like I did,” a middle school teacher once told me. “Go out and do something special.”

That educator was sending the signal to an impressionable kid that teaching is a stale gig, not a higher calling. It’s a shame because America needs more teachers, and young people will be needed to fill an increasing number of open positions, particularly in districts serving minority and low-income students

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Rashiid Coleman
Commentary: Look to leadership to retain California’s teachers of color

Our nation has a problem with recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, particularly teachers of color. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, while students of color make up 40 percent of the school-age population, just 17 percent of the nation’s teaching force is made up of teachers of color. What’s more, California has the nation’s largest percentage-point difference between teachers of color and students of color: While 75 percent of students in California are nonwhite, only about 35 percent of teachers are nonwhite, leaving a gap of 40 percentage points.

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Rashiid Coleman