Since 2017, school districts in Connecticut have hired more than 1,900 educators of color, surpassing the goal set by the State Board of Education in its five-year strategic plan.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), a wide range of evidence supports the benefits of a diverse educator workforce. Benefits include gains in student achievement as well as lower dropout rates and higher college admissions.
Since achieving its goal, the CSDE has been implementing a multi-pronged approach to further diversify the educator workforce in the state’s public schools. Key initiatives include the following:
A Guidebook for Hiring and Selection prepared by the CSDE provides support and guidance to help school districts increase the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of their educator workforces.
An Enhanced Educator Certification Reciprocity Policy streamlines the processing of certification of educators who hold valid and active out-of-state certification. This is expediting efforts to recruit diverse, high-quality educators from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.
NextGen Educators gives undergraduate educator candidates the opportunity to work in school districts to gain valuable experience and gives districts immediate access to new talent while addressing staffing shortages.
Educators Rising introduces middle- and high-school students to careers in education. In the 2021-22 school year, the program has nearly 500 students enrolled in clubs and courses in 22 schools in 19 mostly urban districts, which have high numbers of students of color.
The Male Educator Network (MEN) initiative, a subset of Educators Rising, focuses solely on young men of color with an interest in careers in education. Currently, there are two pilot sites located at E. Hartford High School and New Britain High School.
TEACH Connecticut supports aspiring educators with free, one-on-one support, financial aid resources, information on educator-preparation programs, and more. In year three of the program, TEACH CT supported more than 500 applicants, 41 percent of whom identify as people of color and 39 percent of whom want to teach in a subject shortage area.
Connecticut Troops to Teachers aims to address teacher shortage areas, increase the number of male teachers of color, and reduce veteran unemployment.
The Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council is developing strategies to attract middle- and high-school students to careers in education, encourage college students of color to enroll in educator-preparation programs, recruit educators from other states, and more.
Virtual Career Fairs are held in partnership with Regional Education Service Centers (RESCs). Invitations are sent to certified teachers of color who are not currently teaching, recent graduates of Connecticut educator-preparation programs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving institutions.
RESC Regional Consortia enable diverse local educators to convene and develop workforce diversity plans that address attracting, recruiting, hiring, supporting, and retaining educators.
The EdKnowledge Online Repository hosts promising practices and models of success to retain educators of color.