December 1, 2018

Group wants race gap between students, educators closed

Read the entire article by Linda Conner Lambeck on the CT Post.

BRIDGEPORT — The only male role models Ryan Brown recalls while attending Danbury High School was his football coaches.

“They had my back,” Brown recalls fondly. But they did not look like him.

Now a seventh-grade math teacher at Read School, Brown, 29, said he has a handful of colleagues who, like himself, are black. Not nearly enough, he added.

So when the opportunity came to work with other members of Educators for Excellence on a paper that explored how to improve the ratio of minority teachers in urban settings and create a more culturally responsive curriculum, Brown said it was a no-brainer.

“We all recognize the importance of having teachers and school leaders of color, yet a major disparity between teachers and students persists,” said Brown. “I hope this paper spurs changes that will ensure a better education for our students in Bridgeport and throughout the state.”

The just-released report, “Students Today, Educators Tomorrow” calls for more culturally responsive teacher training, programs that groom students of color to consider teaching as a profession, state-supported “Grow Your Own” programs that offer free college tuition in exchange for returning to the district to teach and a program to offer housing subsides for teachers, particularly in Fairfield County where the cost of living is high.

To read the complete article, visit the CT Post.