November 5, 2019

E4E Hosts Congressional Briefing on Teacher Diversity

Educators for Excellence hosted a briefing at the United States Capitol for Members of Congress and their staff on the urgent need to close the diversity gap between teachers and students.  Over 80 attendees heard directly from teachers, policy experts, and students about how the lack of diversity in the educator workforce is impacting our students, our schools, and our profession. 

The briefing kicked off with a keynote speaker, Kenvin Laycao, 2018 Leading Man Fellow and college student, who shared an inspiring story about three high school teachers--all teachers of color--who inspired him to graduate. His story set the stage for panel discussions about how we can ensure students like Kenvin are able to see themselves reflected in their teachers and that the barriers preventing educators form all backgrounds from entering and staying in the profession are dismantled.

Stand with us and tell Congress to take the next step and get serious about diversifying the teacher workforce by holding Congressional hearings!

Through a moderated conversation, E4E teachers and other policy experts shared compelling stories from their experiences and proposed solutions as to how we can address this crisis through improving teacher preparation and placement, recruiting teacher candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, and keeping diverse and talented teachers in the profession.  

Watch the Panels

 Improving Teacher Preparation & Placement

Moderator: Paula White, Executive Director of E4E-NY
Panelists: Lisa Quon, E4E-Los Angeles; Genelle Faulkner, E4E-Boston;
Dr. Dawn Williams, Dean of Howard University School of Education

Recruiting Teacher Candidates From
Underrepresented Backgrounds

Moderator: Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of E4E
Panelists: Mary Frances Clardy, E4E-Minnesota; Carlotta Pope, E4E-New York;
Sharif El-Mekki, Director of the Center for Black Educator Development

 Improving Teacher Preparation & Placement

Moderator: Simone Hardeman-Jones, Director of Policy and Partnerships at E4E
Panelists: Devin Evans, E4E-Chicago; Jasmine Byrd, E4E-New York;
Roxanne Garza, Senior Policy Associate at New America

Call to Action

Speaker: Sasha Guzman, E4E-Los Angeles member

As one teacher said, the conversations spoke truth to power. The solutions teachers brought to a room full of policymakers included creating pathways for paraprofessionals and aides to become teachers, prioritizing culturally responsive teaching and policies, providing ongoing professional development and discussions around adult biases, intentionally recruiting students--in particular students of color--to become teachers at an early age, creating financial incentives to teach in underserved schools, and creating more opportunities for hybrid roles.

But the conversation doesn’t stop here. Congressional Committees responsible for our public schools must join the conversation and hear directly from experts--including educators, students, academics, and state and district leaders--to learn more about the systems and policies that created this diversity gap and what steps lawmakers can take to close it. 

Will you stand with us and tell Congress to take the next step and get serious about diversifying the teacher workforce by holding Congressional hearings?

Check Out the Photos

What Folks Are Saying