- Uncommon Schools, a charter network with 52 sites in the Northeast, recruits black and Hispanic students in their junior year of college to try teaching during a summer enrichment program to see if they want to pursue a career in education, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The goal is to bring more diversity to the ranks of teachers in schools where almost all of the students are black and Hispanic. Leaders of Uncommon Schools target historically black colleges to recruit students.
- The prospective educators receive training, mentoring and about $6,000 for 10 weeks of work. Since 2010, about 250 of the more than 570 summer teaching fellows have been hired for teaching positions.
While some charter schools are working to attract more white, middle class families in order to create less segregated classrooms, it’s also growing in importance for both charter and traditional schools to implement strategies that diversify the teaching workforce and to provide those teachers with support once they are hired. For example, the Denver Public Schools has created a model that allows new teachers to be in the classroom part time while also working with a mentor to avoid being overwhelmed by working in a high-needs school while they are still rookies.
But diversity of school leadership also makes a difference. While charter school principals are slightly more likely to be black or Hispanic than their counterparts in traditional district schools, the percentages are still low compared with white school leaders. Organizations working to prepare more educators of color for leadership positions say that when principals come from the same communities as the students they serve, they have stronger beliefs that minority students can achieve at high levels.