Diversifying the Educator Workforce

Diversifying the Educator Workforce JET Presents at the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education Forum (MPDE) February 13, 2019, Regis College

We need more diverse teachers in the classroom. In Massachusetts only 8% of teachers are diverse while 35% of the student population is diverse. In urban schools student diversity is higher, at least 50%, with teacher diversity nowhere near that. Everyone at the MPDE Forum was there to learn how to narrow this astounding teacher/student diversity gap. The Forum was a call to action. The MPDE President, Steve Pereira, welcomed us. Commissioner Riley of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) gave the keynote address highlighting DESE recent initiatives to support school district efforts to both cultivate and hire diverse educators. Regina Caines, MPDE’s founding Executive Director, introduced the day’s agenda followed by panel presentations. Guest presenters, including JET, Westfield State University, Lasell College, the Andover and Waltham school districts and DESE staff, described their programs to bring a diverse population into the educator workforce. JET is the only program that supports and mentors paraprofessionals, the most diverse group of educators in the state, to become licensed teachers. In attendance were MPDE member school districts, higher education faculty/staff, state education departments and non-profit education program.
MPDE also sponsors an annual Diversity Job Fair. This year it will be held on Saturday, March 16, at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. For more information go to www.mpde.org.

Pam Herrup