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Why America Needs More Black Male Teachers

Black male teacher working with student

This article and photo originally appeared in EdSurge and are reprinted with permission. 

Two percent. That figure may seem insignificant, until you understand the context. Despite students of color representing more than half the student population, Black males make up only two percent of the teacher workforce. So as it happens, that statistic is very significant as this lack of diversity has negative implications for all students.

For years, Black males have been underrepresented in PK-12 education. While there have been many efforts to diversify classrooms by adding more Black male educators, there are still obstacles preventing us from successfully reaching this goal. Now these educators are speaking up and their voices are sounding the alarm for education diversity.

For years, Black males have been underrepresented in PK-12 education.

The Push to Get More Teachers of Color in Special Education Classrooms

Teacher of color working with two students

The excerpt below is taken from an article originally published in Ed Week and is reprinted with permission.

It’s a constant struggle for school districts across the country to find qualified special education teachers. An extra challenge: finding special educators of color to help meet the needs of a student population that can be disproportionately nonwhite.

Just over 82 percent of special education teachers in public schools are white, according to 2011-12 federal data, the most recent available. Meanwhile, only about half of students receiving special education services are white, according to 2017-18 data.

Yet teacher diversity matters: Decades of research has shown that students often perform better academically when they are taught by teachers of the same race.

“The special education field is really prime to recruit faculty of color,” said Jacqueline Rodriguez,

Cooperation Helping Address Va. Teacher Shortage

Jane Bray

This article originally appeared in The Virginian-Pilot and is reprinted with permission.  

SOME SAY mountains cannot be moved, but the commonwealth has done just that.

Achieving solidarity among educators, politicians, policymakers, higher education institutions and leaders from across Virginia, the effort to combat the teacher shortage in our classrooms has been nothing short of truly astonishing.

On June 20, the Virginia Board of Education gave the final seal of approval for 53 four-year undergraduate degree programs in teacher education at 15 institutions of higher education across the state.

Bowie State Program Looks to Draw More Black Men to Education Careers

This article originally appeared on the WUSA 9 website and is reprinted with permission.

Bowie State University

If you look inside many of America’s classrooms, you’ll notice someone is missing: black male teachers.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education, only 2% of the country’s teaching workforce are black males.

The phenomenon has not been lost on educators like Bowie State University professor Julius Davis. He recently undertook an effort to increase the number of black male teachers that can be found in DMV classrooms.

The University System of Maryland awarded Davis a $44,000 grant to operate a center at Bowie State that specializes in the research and mentorship of black male students and teachers.

Meeting the national need for teachers

Bolstering Education
This article and photo is reprinted with permission from
Illinois State, August 2019 issue.

Media alerts announce another school shooting with lives lost. Another extended teachers’ strike is called to protest inadequate pay. Another round of standardized test results show that American students are falling behind. Another cut made in funds earmarked for public education cripples school districts struggling to keep pace with changing curricula and technology.

ISU College of Education Dean James Wolfinger will tell you the regular recurrence of such reports sparks mounting negative sentiments toward the teaching profession as a whole, which results in one more equally troubling headline: America is facing a critical shortage of teachers.

“The problem is serious, it is real, and it is not overblown by the media,”

JSU Creates Teacher Prep Program with Southern Union State Community College

JSU and Southern Union State Community College are joining force
JSU and Southern Union State Community College are joining forces to provide a smoother route to an early childhood or elementary education degree through the newly established Teacher Prep program.

Teacher Prep creates opportunities for Southern Union students to seamlessly enter JSU’s School of Education through concurrent enrollment. Students are able to earn college credit simultaneously at the community college and university level, placing students on a quicker and more cost-effective pathway to receiving an associate’s degree and a

Tips From PSU on Navigating an Inclusive Educator Prep Program

Representatives from PSUAs the student population has diversified so has our understanding of the general education classroom, specifically who we serve in an inclusive setting. Our students with special education services are learning the majority of their grade level curriculum in general education classrooms. This paradigm shift requires effective collaboration between service providers and teachers as well as a deep understanding and application of differentiation to meet the needs of all students.

For years, the two fields of general education and special education have been siloed. Persistence and partnership is how 

Respond to the Needs of Immediate Communities, Advises BGSU

Teacher in front of classroom of studentsThe key to developing the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) dual licensure program is reaching out to the local area to ensure the program is built with the local needs at the forefront. “The local data is how the university can drive change,” recalls a district leader. Faculty also believe collaboration with the district is central to their mission and their success with candidates. Making connections with the field office and the supervising teachers ensured faculty could relate what candidates were seeing in the field to what they were learning in their coursework.

University systems must also be taken into consideration, especially when working across colleges and across departments. Two questions drove the BGSU program leadership as they developed their dual licensure program: What is best for our students in this program? An what is best for this program? One significant concern was finding strong clinical placements for each teacher candidate. The success of a program with hundreds of teacher candidates rested with strong clinical partnerships.

Finally, serving all students that walk into the classroom was the priority when developing the dual licensure program at BGSU. “This wasn’t an experiment, this is the way BGSU does business,” reflected a faculty member. It was a choice to move away from single licensure that, over time, changes the makeup of the district teaching population, which is why district leaders were involved at every step in the program development.

To learn more, watch the Advice to Others video highlighting BGSU’s Models of Inclusive Clinical Teacher Preparation, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

Guilford County Schools draws in, trains new teachers with Teacher Quality Partnership

This article originally appeared on Fox 8 News and is reprinted with permission.

The Guilford County School District is getting more teachers with the help of a new program.

Guilford County Schools, High Point University and North Carolina A & T State University partnered together for the Teacher Quality Partnership. It’s a federal grant that helps get highly qualified teachers into high-needs schools.

The grant awards more than $4 million to get 25 participants into an accelerated program. In this program, they will learn what they need to be an effective teacher while applying the skills simultaneously in their own classroom with the help of a mentor.

“I never thought I would be in the classroom. People have been telling me for years, ‘Oh, you’d be a great teacher,’” Rashida Queen, one of the 

Students Discuss the Value of PSU’s Secondary Dual Education Program

PSU students reflecting on their experienceA number of students in Portland State University’s (PSU) Secondary Dual Education Program (SPED) recently reflected on advice they were given before entering the graduate program. “I always want more education than less,” one teacher candidate was advised by a mentor in the field of medicine. The candidate now looks back on her experience in the program with appreciation. “I was ready. I had the resources. I had been in the classroom for two years; it felt natural. I didn’t have the same level of trepidation as some of my first year friends.”

The students who complete the PSU program graduate with a dual endorsement in a secondary education content area and special education. Another candidate reflected on the importance of serving every student in the classroom. His decision to pursue a two-year graduate program in secondary English and special education was an obvious one; it ensured he would be prepared to meet the needs of all students with a range of abilities.

The benefit of being profession-ready is not only valued by the teacher candidates. High school students also note the tremendous advantage they have when a teacher who understands the unique needs of students with IEPs is leading the classroom. In particular, college access traditionally has been stymied for students with significant disabilities. However, one high school student reflected that she has a mentor in her teacher, someone who has guided her toward college-ready curriculum. Learning from their students is another area of mutual benefit expressed by the candidates. The necessity to meet the needs of each student in the classroom is universally acknowledged by candidates, students, and administrators.

To learn more, view the What’s in it for me? video highlighting PSU’s Secondary Dual Education program, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

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