A Controversial Way to Protect Teachers of Color

| Boston Globe | The Editorial Board

The teacher workforce in Massachusetts is overwhelmingly white: 90.4 percent of teachers and 81.3 percent of paraprofessionals in all public schools statewide are white, according to 2022 state data. The student body is far more diverse: 24.2 percent Hispanic, 9.4 percent Black, 7.3 percent Asian, and 54.4 percent white, according to 2022 figures.

There isn’t a more well-accepted truism in education than the profound, positive impact that teachers of color can have on students’ educational outcomes. Research has shown that students of color benefit when they are taught by an educator of the same race or ethnicity.

Two worthy legislative proposals aim to close the gap — one controversial, the other not. With widespread support, state Representative Alice Peisch and state Senator Jason Lewis refiled the Educator Diversity Act earlier this year, which was first introduced in the last legislative session. The bill aims to boost teacher diversity by establishing alternative certification pathways for would-be teachers; requiring school districts to collect teacher diversity data and create a diversity plan with specific goals and timetables; and launching an educator diversity grant fund. It’s supported by practically all education stakeholders statewide, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Boston Teachers Union, the latter of which lists it among its legislative priorities.

Read the full article at the Boston Globe.

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.

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