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Teacher Diversity is Teacher Quality: An Evidence and Action Event Series

June 22 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Event Summary

On June 22nd-24th Boston University’s Wheelock Educational Policy Center, Latinos for Education and The Education Trust hosted a virtual event series exploring the research and policy recommendations that could improve the quality of our teaching workforce for all kids in the state. The series featured three events. Summaries of each, along with links to the webinar recording and additional resources are shared below. 

A new book, “Teacher Diversity and Student Success: Why Racial Representation Matters in the Classroom” makes clear the necessity and opportunity of recruiting and supporting individuals of color in the teaching profession. But will Massachusetts meet the moment and take action to pass the Educator Diversity Act?  

During the event, we heard from two of the book’s authors as well as Massachusetts advocates, educators and policymakers. Featured speakers include:

Book Authors:

  • Seth Gershenson, Associate professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University
  • Constance Lindsay, Assistant professor of Education Leadership in the School of Education at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Panel (including Book Authors):

  • Moderator: Chairman Frank Moran, Representative for the 17th Essex District
  • Amanda Fernandez, CEO and Co-Founder of Latinos for Education
  • Dr Noemi Custodia Lora, Northern Essex Community College, Vice President

Deep Dive Sessions

As an extension of the main event on June 22nd, we invited participants to dig in with us a little further to explore specific facets of the research and policies shaping the experiences of individuals of color entering and staying in the teaching profession. Each of the sessions below paired research insights alongside voices and perspectives of current educators of color. They were brief (just 30 minutes!) but insightful and action-focused.

Racial Diversity in the Teacher Pipeline: Evidence from Massachusetts

June 23rd 2:30-3:00pm

Researchers Melanie Rucinski and Joshua Goodman shared findings from their analysis examining the racial composition at each step of the Massachusetts educator pipeline and two MA educators part of the InSPIRED Fellowship program (Dr. Sana Shaikh and Ms. Atiera Horne) shared about their own experience entering the profession and recruiting others to it. Moderated by Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, Chair for Teaching and Learning at Boston University.

A Classroom Observer Like Me: Effects of Race & Gender-Matches in Teacher Observations

June 24th 3:30-4:00pm

Researcher Olivia Chi shared findings from a study that examines whether teachers receive higher classroom observation scores as a result of sharing race or gender with their observers. Educators from the Massachusetts Teacher and Principal Advisory Cabinets, Sara Marie Jette and Steven Moguel,  who have been discussing a re-envisioned approach to evaluation in the state, shared their reactions and experiences. Moderated by Stefany Tomlinson, Assistant Director for Instructional Support at the MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education 


Take Action Resources

MTEL Alternative Pilot

The MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education has launched a three-year pilot to implement and study alternative ways to assess candidate knowledge for purposes of entry into the workforce. You can read more about this effort and sign up to receive more regular updates from DESE here.

Online Platform for Teaching and Informed Calibration (OPTIC)

In an effort to improve evaluators observations of teacher practice, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has built a tool to provide educators the opportunity to calibrate their understanding of effective instructional practice and high quality feedback. OPTIC is being used by district leadership teams and preparation providers across the state. Recently, the state released a collection of resources explicitly targeting culturally responsive practice in observations.

Use the link above to easily communicate with your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to support the Educator Diversity Act, HD.3641/SD.2208: An Act Relative to Educator Diversity. 


June 22
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm