University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
Chief Talent Officer
School District of Philadelphia
The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice
In Philadelphia, 85% percent of students are non-white, but teachers of color make up only 30% of the teaching force. The difference between the large number of non-white students and small number of non-white teachers is called the "teacher diversity gap." And by some accounts, this gap has grown larger in the last 10 years, with more Hispanic students entering schools while the percentage of black teachers has dropped significantly. What's more, a mere 400 teachers, or 5% of Philadelphia's teachers are black men.
Why is teacher diversity important? Research shows that teacher-student similarity can lead to positive personal and academic outcomes, as teachers of color serve as community role models and in leadership roles. Black teachers are also more likely to believe black students will find postsecondary success, and black students are three times as likely to be identified as gifted by black teachers.
This March, we'll hear from a leading researcher of teacher recruitment and retention, a policymaker who is setting the school district's vision on teacher diversity, and an educator and activist looking to triple the number of black male teachers in the city. Where does the Philadelphia stand now in terms teacher diversity strategies and priorities? As a city, where do we need to focus our efforts to ensure better teaching conditions and a stronger pipeline?
Come to learn and share your thoughts and questions.