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April 19, 2018

Diversifying the Teacher Workforce: How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color

Research Brief: Diversifying the Teaching Profession Through High-Retention Pathways

  The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this video belong solely to the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the perspective of the Learning Policy Institute

Recruiting and retaining a diverse teacher workforce is key to improving outcomes for all students, particularly for students from low-income families and other under-served populations. Research also shows that students of color benefit when they see adult role models who are people of color in positions of authority, and from having higher expectations placed on them by teachers of color. Students of color and White students benefit from teachers who bring diverse knowledge, experiences, and role modeling to the classroom. Faced with a national teacher shortage, schools across the country are struggling to hire and retain qualified educators who reflect the racial diversity of their communities. Moreover, teachers of color face unique barriers to entering and staying in the profession. Fortunately, a variety of programs, policies, and practices hold promise for bolstering the pipeline of teachers of color recruited to and retained in the profession.

At the briefing, speakers discussed a new report from the Learning Policy Institute, Diversifying the Teaching Profession: How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color. The report reviews the research on the recruitment and retention of teachers of color, examines the current state of teachers of color in the workforce and the factors that affect their recruitment, hiring, and retention, and highlights opportunities for policymakers to grow a stable workforce of teachers of color in their districts and states.


  • Desiree Carver-Thomas, Research and Policy Associate, Learning Policy Institute
  • Ameshia Cross, Director of Policy and External Relations, National Black Child Development Institute
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
  • Ashley Griffin, Interim Director of P-12 Research, Education Trust
  • Nia Lesesne, Legislative Aide, Senator Cory Booker
  • Jennifer Robinson, Executive Director, Center of Pedagogy, Montclair State University, New Jersey
  • Lorén Trull, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS