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The Department has moved to 135 Santilli Highway in Everett. The Department's office and Licensure Welcome Center are open. The new location has free parking and is a short walk from the Wellington station on the MBTA's Orange Line.
Educator Effectiveness


Spotlight on Racial Equity

  • Diverse Educators Make a positive difference for all students, and data on the MA teacher workforce highlights the urgent need to intentionally build and implement a talent diversification strategy in service of achievement and equitable outcomes for students. DESE's MA Teacher Diversification Guidebook recommends that districts begin this work by:
    1. Understanding why teacher racial and ethnic diversity matters to your students and district: Naming your 'why' and aligning commitments, communications, practices, and policies to reflect that 'why' is key to building a coherent approach to building a more diverse workforce.
    2. Auditing your current talent management processes, understanding the experience of your stakeholders, and setting goals.

Current Considerations

Educators on Emergency Licenses

  • Launched in Spring 2020 as a temporary measure to counter pandemic-related short-falls in staffing, the Emergency license option allows individuals to enter the workforce without completing testing and coursework requirements necessary under normal circumstances for Temporary, Provisional or Initial educator licenses.
  • As of November 8th, 2023, the Department is no longer authorized to issue any additional Emergency licenses. Please note that this does not impact extensions to an Emergency license. An educator that obtains an Emergency license prior to November 8th will have an opportunity to extend their Emergency license. Updated information about the Emergency license can be found on DESE's Licensure webpage for Emergency Licenses.
  • This license may provide an opportunity to welcome more diverse educators who otherwise face inequitable barriers to entering the profession. Compared to the MA educator workforce, the educators employed on Emergency licenses are more likely to identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic and Latino, or multiracial. In the 2021-22 school year, 29% of employed educators on emergency licenses identified as a person of color compared to the statewide average of 9.7%.

Best Practices

Using Data to Inform Goals and Strategies

  • Access the Educator Data Dashboard and the Race/Ethnicity and Gender Staffing Report to learn more about the current status of diversification in teacher pipelines.
  • Gather information about the experiences of students, families, and educators, including educators of color, such as through surveys, interviews, focus groups.

Leveraging Existing Pipelines

  • Invest in student teachers and paraprofessionals. These educators are more likely to stay in your school longer than other new hires and are more effective with students than the average first year teacher.
  • Consider offering referral bonuses or incentives to tap into current staff members' networks.
  • Collect and review hiring data from the Edwin Teacher Preparation Partnership Pipeline Report to identify the preparation providers currently providing student teachers and/or new hires for your district.

Early Hiring

  • Studies suggest that instituting earlier hiring timelines increases student learning, teacher diversity, and retention rates.

Building an Equitable and Comprehensive Hiring Process

  • Include a diverse group of stakeholders, including educators, parents, and students to ensure broad input and to reduce the impact of individual bias in the hiring process.
  • Create, review, and revise 'must-have' selection criteria and screening tools. Clearly defining the role and the qualities of a successful candidate and developing a robust hiring process based on those criteria will help hiring teams identify and mitigate bias, ensure that each candidate is being evaluated on the key criteria that position them to serve students and their school community well, and provide candidates with the information that they need to better understand the district and the position.
  • Share with candidates the tangible ways your school and district works to build a culturally and linguistically sustaining work environment. This can support candidates, including educators of color, to make an informed decision. For additional information about cultivating a supportive work environment, see the Guidebook on Recruitment, Selection, and Retention Strategies for a Diverse Massachusetts Teacher Workforce.

Supporting Job Candidates

  • Consider whether the language of your job postings is inviting. Some tips include explicitly welcoming members of marginalized communities to apply, translating job postings and application materials into multiple languages, narrowing the required credentials to what is most necessary to do the job well, and avoiding a "laundry list" of preferred skills.
  • Share interview questions with candidates in advance. This can support those who need additional time to process, and signals that you are taking a welcoming approach to hiring educators.

Sample Hiring Resources from MA Charter Schools

  • Check out Community Charter School of Cambridge's hiring process, including job posting language and interview questions.
  • Draw from Baystate Academy Charter Public School's interview question list.

Questions to Consider

  • What does our hiring process communicate to potential staff?
  • How can we invite diverse stakeholders into our hiring process?
  • What intentional goals and actions will our team take to hire and create supportive environments for educators of color?
Additional Resources


For their contributions to this module, we'd like to thank DESE's Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign and the following members of the 2020-2021 Principal Advisory Cabinet:

Ashley Davis

Ashley Davis, Principal, Pauline A. Shaw Elementary School, Boston

Steven Moguel

Steven Moguel, Principal, Morgan Full Service Community School, Holyoke

Kristen Smidy

Kristen Smidy, Principal, Hampshire Regional High School

*Folx (as opposed to its traditional spelling, "folks) can signal intentional inclusivity, particularly of transgender and non-gender-binary individuals.


Booker, Chaka. Mastering the Hire: 12 Strategies to Improve Your Odds of Finding the Best Hire. Harper Collins, 2020.

Bruno, Paul, and Katharine O. Strunk. "Making the Cut: The Effectiveness of Teacher Screening and Hiring in the Los Angeles Unified School District." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 41, no. 4, 2019, pp. 426-460.

Gleischman, Kelly. "A Guide to 3 Virtual Hiring Event Types." Nimble, 2020.

Goldhaber, Dan, Cyrus Grout and Nick Huntington-Klein. "Screen Twice, Cut Once: Assessing the Predictive Validity of Applicant Selection Tools." Education Finance and Policy, vol. 12, no. 2, 2017, pp. 197-223.

Jacob, Brian, Jonah E. Rockoff, Eric S. Taylor, Benjamin Lindy, and Rachel Rosen. "Teacher Applicant Hiring and Teacher Performance: Evidence from DC Public Schools." Journal of Public Economics, vol. 166, 2016, pp. 81-97.

Peters, Mark. "Womyn, wimmin, and other folx." The Boston Globe, 2017.

The New England Secondary School Consortium Task Force on Diversifying the Educator Workforce. "Increasing the Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity of the Educator Workforce ." 2020.

Superville, Denisa. "To Recruit More Teachers of Color, This District Posted a Unique Job Ad." EducationWeek, 2019.

Please contact us at with questions, feedback, or for additional support and partnership around any of the practices and resources included in this guide.

Last Updated: November 17, 2023

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

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


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