Ohio Department of Education Announces Diversifying the Education Profession Grant Awardees
The Ohio Department of Education recently announced the Diversifying the Education Profession Grant Awardees, 20 school districts that will work over two and a half years to implement strategies to address the diversity needs within their faculty and staff.
According to the Ohio Department of Education, the state has significantly more minority students than minority teachers in its public schools. Ample research shows that teachers of color help students of color perform better academically, socially, and emotionally, and the benefits translate into higher test scores, increased likeliness of staying in school, and lower likeliness of chronic absences and discipline incidents.
Despite multiple efforts to diversify the teaching candidate population over the past three years among Ohio’s individual universities, the number of minority candidates pursuing teaching degrees in state continues to fall.
As reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer, declining enrollment among minority students is a relatively recent development. In 2010, Ohio had among its highest enrollment of students of color in its teacher preparation programs, when 3,645 students were enrolled. But, by 2018, which is the most recent data available from the state departments, only 1,189 students of color enrolled.
To address the challenge of attracting and retaining student teachers of color, the Ohio departments of education and higher education formed a taskforce that recommended a range of actions including a call to establish the Diversifying the Education Profession Grant to target minority teacher recruitment and retention through strategies such as mentorship programs, “grow your own” programs, better promotion of the teaching profession, and providing loan forgiveness and scholarships.