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Special Report: CT’s Teacher Diversification Efforts Not Keeping Pace with Need

ERN CT Report: CT’s Teacher Diversification Efforts Not Keeping Pace with Need

Research shows that when students of color are taught by a representative teaching workforce, they are held to higher expectations academically and are less likely to be suspended from school. However, despite a significant commitment to minority teacher recruitment in Connecticut, the rate of growing teacher diversity is not keeping pace with the state’s need, according to a new report released this week by our affiliate, Education Reform Now CT. The analysis explores the scope of this stubborn problem by comparing the demographic makeup of student and teacher populations across the state and within individual districts.

While the raw number of teachers of color in Connecticut has increased over time, the report points to a growing gap between the number of students of color and teachers of color, terming that percentage point difference a "Diversity Gap." It’s growing statewide, but it’s also most acute in diverse districts.

In a press statement, ERN CT Director Amy Dowell gave credit to Connecticut’s Governor, officials, and legislators for their ongoing commitment to minority teacher recruitment. “But our efforts have not kept pace with our state’s need,” she added. “The Diversity Gap is yet another form of educational inequity that contributes to opportunity gaps for students of color.”

Nevertheless, coverage of the report by CT News Junkie also highlights a case study of Manchester Public Schools, which is beginning to narrow its Diversity Gap by investing in recruitment and retention efforts, adopting an explicit equity policy, and building a culturally affirming environment.

You can read the full report and case study here.

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