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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 Program Grant (for schools and districts)

    A pilot program that provides competitive grant funding to support local school and 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.

    Teacher Diversification Professional Learning Community (formerly the Diversity Network)

    A network that supports and enhances school and district understanding of the components needed to develop and implement a comprehensive talent diversification strategy (recruitment, selection, and retention) centered on cultural proficiency.

    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.

    Policy for Identifying Home Mortgage Assistance Programs

    This policy was developed to further support educator recruitment and retention efforts in Massachusetts. The policy allows the Department to identify non-profit entities that may provide home ownership resources to prospective and newly hired teachers and administrators.

    Other Agency Efforts/Resources

    Last Updated: June 16, 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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