Congresswoman Susan Davis Leads Effort to Increase Teacher Diversity
U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) led the effort for greater diversity in the nation’s teaching force. Davis gave opening remarks at a summit on teacher diversity held at the Department of Education. The summit was organized at the urging of Davis, who is also sponsoring legislation to help schools recruit diverse teachers.
“Our teaching force must reflect the backgrounds of our students,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “A majority of students at public schools are students of color, and that number continues to rise. Yet, only eighteen percent of teachers are of color nationwide. That number is even smaller for male teachers. I hope this summit leads to local action and progress. I hope we find ways to connect with one another. We have so much to learn.”
Educators from the San Diego region, invited by Davis, attended the summit to provide their experiences and ideas.
In a letter to President Obama and acting Education Secretary John King, Davis and 70 of her colleagues wrote that bringing together educators, researchers, policy makers, and students “will be an important step in elevating the national dialogue on this pressing issue.”
Education Secretary John King responded with the announcement of two events. A panel discussion in March featured Secretary King, the American Federation of Teachers, Teach for America, and Howard University addressing the need for more teachers of color in the teaching profession. The summit held today allowed leaders and stakeholders to work on ways to increase diversity in the teaching profession in their areas.
Davis has introduced legislation to help school districts increase teacher diversity. The Diverse Teacher Recruitment Act would establish a grants program for 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.