The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) has signed onto a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms. The letter, citing federal data and university studies, reports that 53 percent of public school students are children of color, while only 18 percent of teachers identify as a person of color. Studies reveal this disparity causes overall lower student achievement and outcomes, especially in populations of at-risk students and students of color.
The letter states, “We believe that increasing teacher diversity elevates the teaching profession and improves the lives and outcomes of all students,” and calls on all parties involved to play a role in addressing the problem. The letter volunteers the services of the undersigned organizations to help Congress and the Department of Education to determine how proposed regulations and legislation may increase or decrease teacher diversity. More than seventy-five education organizations representing teachers, preservice teachers, school counselors, education staff, principals, superintendents, charter school leaders, education reformers, tutors, and teacher educators have signed the letter.
AAEE Executive Director, Tim Neubert stated, “Teaching is not currently an attractive career path for many persons of color, to the detriment of students in our schools. If we want to provide the highest-quality education system in this country, we must work together to address the reasons why.”
The American Association for Employment in Education is focused on positively impacting education through professional connections. With the full support of its board of directors, AAEE is proud to join this coalition of organizations from across the country in highlighting the need to increase teacher diversity, and taking an active role in efforts to prepare, recruit, and retain a diverse teacher population through intentional, long-term, and widespread efforts. AAEE’s efforts will be reflected through our membership, events, resources, scholarship programs, partnerships, and advocacy, consistent with our purposes to:
- Gather, organize, and disseminate information on candidates, the educational marketplace, and the job search process.
- Establish and promote ethical standards and practices in the employment process.
- Provide opportunities for training, networking and the exchange of information about current practices, research and innovations.
- Promote dialogue and cooperation among institutions which prepare educators and institutions which provide employment opportunities.
More information, including the full letter text, list of signatories, articles and studies cited in the letter, is available at aaeteachers.org/diversity.