In February, the State Board of Education unanimously adopted the statewide Educator Diversity policy, which requires local school districts to set an educator diversity goal, outline and implement the strategies it will use to attract and maintain a more diverse teaching force. The State Department of Education will monitor and report progress towards meeting the goals in that policy. This is a huge step in the right direction to support the efforts of diversifying Tennessee’s educator workforce.
As a demonstration of the Hamilton County School Board’s commitment to educator diversity, they recently crafted as well as adopted their own Educator Diversity policy and Educational Equity policy, which not only communicate a belief that all students deserve access to diverse, effective teachers and high-quality instruction but also highlights a commitment by Hamilton County Schools to prioritize minority educator recruitment and retention.
Considering all of those recent and exciting updates, the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance and HCS are excited to announce a new partnership to support the district’s Educator Diversity policy and overall talent strategy.
HCS, like many school districts, is in the midst of navigating the support of students and staff in the context of a global pandemic. While nearly 51 percent of students at HCS identify as students of color, only 12 percent of teachers identify as persons of color. Research shows that a racially and ethnically diverse teaching force has several positive effects on students in the areas of academic achievement, social and emotional development, and discipline. As the district recognizes the need to have a more diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the students being served, TECA is excited to support HCS as it engages in this process.
During this partnership, TECA will provide: 1) support for the development of the recruitment and retention strategies for educators of color in the district and 2) ongoing coaching and mentoring for new and early career educators.
“This partnership to support minority educator recruitment and retention aligns beautifully with two focus areas of our Future Ready 2023 strategic plan: Accelerating Student Achievement as well as Great Teachers and Leaders,” said Penny Murray, chief talent officer for HCS. “It’s an exciting time and we look forward to working with TECA in the days ahead.”