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Strategic Initiatives

Diverse and Culturally Responsive Workforce

A growing body of educational research demonstrates the positive impacts of teachers of color on short- and long-term academic outcomes of students of color. Specifically, the research finds that having a single teacher of color can boost academic achievement, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment for students of color. In light of the research, recruiting and retaining a diverse and effective educator workforce can be a promising strategy for districts to address educational inequity.

In Massachusetts, approximately 40% of public school students are of color, while this is true for only 10% of public school educators.

MA Public School Figures by race ethnicity

In an effort to achieve greater parity between students and educators of color, DESE has prioritized educator diversification as one of several strategies to address educational inequities. In alignment with this priority, DESE has developed a number of initiatives designed to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the Commonwealth's educator workforce. Below are educator diversification initiatives led by CSI, as well as links to additional agency efforts.

Teacher Diversification Pilot Grant (for districts)

A 3-year pilot program that provides competitive grant funding to support local school district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention programs.

Influence 100 (for current educators)

A fellowship program designed to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of superintendents in MA and create more culturally responsive districts and leaders across the commonwealth.

CSI Developed Teacher Recruitment Activities (for future educators)

Commissioner Riley has been visiting MA colleges and universities to speak with students of color about the teaching profession and the need for racially and ethnically diverse educators.

Diversity Network

A network that provides districts, prep partners, and community partners the opportunity to participate in shared learning, collaboration across districts, and planning with their own teams with a focus on recruiting and retaining staff of color.

Teacher Diversification Guidebook

This guidebook provides a framework to support district and school leaders to design and implement a teacher diversification strategy in service of achievement and equitable outcomes for students.

Other Agency Efforts/Resources

Last Updated: January 22, 2021

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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