Congresswoman Susan Davis Introduces Education Reform Bills

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Washington, DC, February 10, 2015 | comments

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced a pair of education reform bills to increase teacher diversity and to give educators the tools to help military children succeed academically.

“Both these bills would ensure that we are meeting a critical need of our students,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “As we consider reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it’s important that these students are part of the discussion.”

The Helping Military Children Succeed in School Act would create a military student identifier to provide the data needed to address the diverse challenges they face. Specifically, a report-only subgroup for military-connected students would allow schools and districts to effectively track these students’ performance.

This data would then help educators identify areas of concern, develop best practices, and deploy targeted solutions to help military-connected student succeed.

“Military children face a myriad of special circumstances, such as frequent moves and parental deployments, which research has shown poses serious challenges in their schooling,” noted Davis, ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

The Diverse Teacher Recruitment Act would provide competitive grants to school districts to design and implement recruiting programs to bring teachers from underrepresented groups into the classroom.  The Department of Education would analyze the programs and disseminate data on which were effective in recruiting minority teachers.  Successful results could be replicated in other school districts.

Across the country, students of color make up 40 percent of the public high school population, yet teachers of color make up just 17 percent of the teaching force.  Only about 24 percent were males and fewer than two percent of teachers are African American males.  Addressing this issue, which exists in every state, is important in ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap.

Research has shown to produce more favorable academic results for students of color, particularly in raising test scores, improving attendance, increasing enrollment in advanced level courses, and boosting college-going rates.

“The current lack of diversity leaves some students without an inspiring role model to whom they can relate,” said Davis. “A more diverse teaching force could enhance the public school system and the experience and success of students.” 

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Tags: Education

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