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BPS Teacher Diversity Action Plan to develop highly-qualified, diverse teaching force

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Contact: Brian Ballou, Director of Media Relations
bballou@bostonpublicschools.org
617-635-9494
 
Interim Superintendent John McDonough has announced a ‘Teacher Diversity Action Plan’ to attract and retain a highly qualified, diverse teaching force that better reflects the students we serve.

“The goal of this plan is to find teachers who are linguistically, culturally and racially diverse, who reflect the diversity of our student population,” McDonough said.

The Office of Human Capital will develop a 3-year strategic plan focused in three distinct areas: workforce diversity, workforce inclusion and sustainability.

BPS has launched an advertising campaign designed to attract a diverse group of highly qualified teachers from across the country as part of that strategy. Expect to see advertising beginning this month in publications such as Education Week, the Metro and on MBTA vehicles and in subways.

Teachers from across the United States can apply for positions in the district by visiting a new BPS website: www.teachboston.org.

“Diversity strengthens and enriches teaching and learning in the BPS by including the histories, languages, ethnicities reflected in our student body. The academic and social fabric of our schools will become stronger and richer as a result of this initiative,’’ said Dr. Eileen De Los Reyes, BPS Deputy Superintendent of Academics.

Last November BPS adopted a new teacher hiring practice that extends hiring autonomies to all schools allowing them to attract and hire highly qualified teachers. Prior hiring rules have limited our flexibility in this recruitment process.

“We know that teachers have the greatest impact on student learning,” said Ross Wilson, who heads the newly-formed BPS Office of Human Capital. “Our new Human Capital Strategy allows schools in the district to recruit, hire and retain a diverse, highly qualified workforce. Now every school has the opportunity to hire the best teaching candidates inside and outside the district.”

Of 4,415 teachers, 21 percent are Black, 10 percent are Hispanic and 6 percent are Asian.

"We believe that diversity among teachers can advance the academic achievement of our students”, said Tanisha Sullivan, BPS Chief Equity Officer. “We understand our compliance obligation; however, we see that as our baseline. As a District we are committed to achieving, developing and maintaining a workforce reflective of the rich racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity of our students,” she said.

Among our student population, 40 percent are Hispanic, 36 percent are Black, 9 percent are Asian and 2 percent are multicultural or “other.” Among our principals, headmasters, central office staff and school administrative teams, 31 percent are Black, 13 percent are Hispanic and 4 percent are Asian.

We are proud to be one of the most diverse school districts in the nation. Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home and our students come from more than 100 different countries. One in five BPS students has a disability and three out of four live near or below the poverty line.

Our diversity is our strength. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Mathematics – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” – Boston 4th and 8th grade students’ gains exceeded the national average for all public schools, including suburban schools. This is the first time since measurements began that any urban school district has met this mark.
 
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