Educator Diversity, Preparation & Development

Outstanding educators raise student achievement, close attainment gaps and set up their students to succeed in college and careers. An educator workforce that advances equity is one that is also diverse.

To cultivate outstanding educators consistently and effectively, school districts must prioritize a diverse educator workforce, partner with higher education and nonprofits to improve pathways into teaching and leadership, and provide more clinically-based training. Districts and teachers unions must collaborate to remove barriers, such as forced placement and poor working conditions, to address the systemic inequity that low-income students have fewer effective teachers, and new teachers and principals need better support to succeed.

As one of our primary focus areas, Education First helps school systems, institutions of higher education, state leaders, funders and nonprofits improve the quality of teaching. We focus on helping these system leaders change how they recruit, select, prepare, place and retain a diverse educator workforce; support, develop and evaluate teachers; and elevate the voices and roles of teacher leaders in policy and practice. We know what needs to be done to create a diverse and high-quality teacher workforce, and we partner with leaders in the field to focus on strategies to increase the percentage of Black, Indigenous and other teachers of color entering and staying in the profession; to design and launch innovative staffing models; and to sustain teacher residencies and other quality teacher preparation pathways.

Our core expertise within Educator Diversity, Preparation and Development includes:

  • Educator diversity
  • Teacher and school leader preparation & pipelines
  • Teacher leadership and innovative staffing models
  • Educator support and development

Some of the recent ways we have helped system leaders improve the diversity, preparation and development of teachers include:

  • We helped Chicago Public Schools design and launch TeachChicago, a multi-faceted approach to help improve its teacher pipeline.
  • We conducted an analysis of the Rochester school district’s teacher pipeline to identify gaps in the teacher talent ecosystem, culminating in a set of strategies for increasing the diversity of the local workforce through enhancing teacher recruitment, improving the clinical experience for student teachers and supporting new teacher induction.
  • We facilitated a community of practice (CoP) of Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to identify, design and spread effective practices in teacher preparation.