Diversifying the Educator Workforce

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The Talent Office expects continued progress towards it's goal of increasing the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the educator workforce given its intentional outreach to various partners.

The Talent Office has established the following partnerships:

The Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL)

The CSDE, in collaboration with CPRL, at Columbia University, developed EdKnowledge, a repository of research, promising practices, and models of success designed to attract, recruit, prepare, induct, support, advance and retain teachers of color. EdKnowledge will be accessible through the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) website in fall 2019 and will be continuously expanded.

The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL)

In summer 2017, the CSDE Talent Office initiated a new partnership with the Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL). As part of this newly established partnership, the CSDE conducted informational sessions about pathways to certification and provided resources to career counselors in five regional job centers across the state. Over the past year, in collaboration with the CSDE, the DOL has provided workshops on resume writing and interview skills to teachers of color who have earned CT educator certification but are not currently employed in CT public schools. These workshops have been held at regional job centers and at CSDE sponsored networking events. The DOL is also working with the CSDE to offer assistance to veterans interested in pursuing a career in education.

TEACH Connecticut

In fall 2018, the CSDE, in partnership with TEACH.org, will launch Teach Connecticut. Connecticut is the first state in the nation to engage TEACH.org to develop on a statewide scale. This multi-stakeholder partnership will engage school districts, CT educator preparation programs, and other education agencies to develop a comprehensive recruiting and marketing system designed to elevate the image of teaching in order to recruit the next generation of CT educators. Teach Connecticut’s marketing efforts will speak to all aspiring educators, with a focus on encouraging people of color to consider a career in teaching, as well as those who may have an interest in teaching in a subject area in which persistent shortages exist, such as Math, Science, Bilingual and Comprehensive Special Education.

The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) and the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC)

The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) and the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) are federally funded technical assistance providers intended to support state education agencies in achieving identified goals. The CSDE, in collaboration with GTL and NCC, developed and hosted a four-part series: Examining the Potential for Unconscious Bias in Hiring and Selection Practices. Representatives from several Opportunity Districts (CT’s ten lowest performing school districts), parent groups, and professional organizations are currently participating in the series. The CSDE plans to replicate the series in 2018-19 and extend the invitation to representatives from local boards of education.

Collaboration with Connecticut Educator Preparation Programs

Special Act 16-10, An Act Establishing a Pilot Program for Minority Students in High School to Pursue a College Degree, requires Connecticut State Universities to offer at least one tuition free, credit bearing course to minority high school juniors and seniors to promote an interest in education as a potential career. As a result, the CSDE anticipates an increase in the number of students of color enrolling in CT teacher preparation programs in the next three to five years.

Relay Graduate School of Education (GSE)

In December 2016, the SBE approved Relay GSE as an alternate route to certification. As promised in their proposal, Relay has demonstrated its ability to disproportionately recruit candidates of color, largely due to their targeted recruitment of paraeducators in several Connecticut Opportunity Districts. In 2017-2018, the second cohort enrolled in this alternate route program, 60% of the 91 candidates identified as Non-White.

The State Student Advisory Council on Education (SSACE) 2018-2019

Each year, the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), convenes a group of diverse high school students to identify and study three education policy issues. In 2017-18, the Chief Talent Officer and Talent Office consultants met with SSACE on two occasions to discuss the challenge to increase the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of CT’s educator workforce to more closely align with the increasing diversity of CT’s student population. At the request of the Chief Talent Officer, the Commissioner has advised that, in 2018-19, the sole focus for the student advisory council be on developing strategies to elevate and market the profession to attract the next generation of CT educators, including a more racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse talent pool.