To encourage diversity among teachers, the Tennessee State Board of Education is seeking to boost recruitment of a diverse workforce and encourage statewide efforts to target teaching candidates of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The timeline for the state board is an October presentation of how to ensure that teacher education programs graduate educators who are sufficiently prepared, and emphasizing the need for colleges and universities to encourage diversity. However, work that is being done by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education around the state is enhancing the emphasis on a need for a diverse teacher workforce and qualified people to recruit.
“In quantitative and qualitative data, it shows there is an added value (to having a diverse teacher workforce),” said Travis Bristol, professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Boston University.
“Diversity shouldn’t be an elixir, but a comprehensive approach that raises expectations for students and adults,” he said.
“It is such a sensitive issue, but the reality is we are trying to open up the landscape,” said Nashville chief of schools Sito Narcisse. “Nashville is a diverse place, with diverse students, and we want to have more diverse strategies in solving the issues and problems here.”