Building a Diverse and Inclusive Teaching Workforce

Alicia Jones high-fives first-grade ELA students at James Russell Lowell School 51.

Originally from Education Leaders of Color.

Young people of all racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds benefit when they have access to diverse teachers and school leaders. Today, teachers of color make up only 21 percent of the workforce; in fact, 40 percent of US K-12 public schools have no teachers of color. Yet more than 50 percent of the PK-12 public school student population is Black, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, or multi-racial. Great school principals and teachers of color can drive profound changes in student achievement and school outcomes, particularly for students of color. Research has shown that Black students are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to attend college when they have Black teachers. Likewise, attendance among Latino students improves with Latino teachers.

With a new school year underway, the One Million Teachers of Color Campaign is redoubling its commitment to adding a million teachers of color and thirty-thousand leaders of color to the education workforce in the next decade. At the federal level, our plan for achieving this is three-fold:

  • Build and expand more diverse educator talent pipelines
  • Invest in financial supports and incentives to recruit and retain educators of color
  • Make data on teacher and school leader diversity more transparent and actionable

We’ve created a congressional policy brief that contains critical research and actionable efforts for policymakers to join us in championing a stronger, more diverse education workforce in this new school year and beyond. Students, especially those furthest from opportunity, need access to diverse and effective educators more than ever. The presence of teachers and school leaders of color isn’t just about representation; it’s about creating tangible, positive outcomes.

We invite you to join us in paving the way for a brighter future by advocating for inclusive policies and innovative pathways into the teaching profession, and by dismantling barriers that hinder educators of color. The One Million Teachers of Color Campaign—led by TNTP, The Hunt Institute, Center for Black Educator Development, The Education Trust, Latinos for Education, Men of Color in Educational Leadership, New Leaders, and Teach Plus—stands as a call to action.

Join us on this journey toward a more equitable and vibrant learning experience for all students, one educator at a time.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

Learn More About TNTP