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Reports from Policy Analysts

Increasing Diversity in New York City Teaching Corps

Submitted On: Friday, September 2, 2016

Analyst: Kulnis, Derek

Analyst: Derek Kulnis

September 1 2016

New York City has created a program called NYC Men Teach that is designed to increase diversity in its workforce.  According to Jennifer Fink in District Administration, the program is a joint effort from the mayor’s office, the education department, the City University of New York, and the city’s Young Men’s Initiative that is “designed to add 1,000 black, Latino and Asian men to the city’s teaching rosters by 2018.”

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio launched the plan in 2015, which includes mentor programs that will pair veteran teachers with NYC Men Teach participants, as well as offer alternative pathways to teacher certification for the recruits, supported in part by Teach for America and its Teaching Fellows program.

The NYC Men Teach website outlines the program and explains that while “male students of color make up 43% of NYC’s public school demographic, only 8.3% of the entire teacher workforce is made up of Black, Latino and Asian men.”  The site emphasizes the importance of having a diverse teaching corps and notes that “by 2020, the majority of U.S. children will be youth of color.”

Patrick Wall explains that the program has recruited in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia as well as in New York City. He also comments on the fact that New York City is part of a nationwide effort to make teaching more diverse, explaining that nationwide “three-fourths of all 3.4 million public school teachers  in 2012 were women, while 82 percent were white.”

Wall states that programs to increase diversity in teaching have had some success, and cites the work of Richard Ingersoll, a University of Pennsylvania education professor, who found that “from 1988 to 2008, the growth in nonwhite teachers nationwide outpaced the growth of nonwhite students and white teachers.”

Professor Ingersoll contends that recruitment is not the problem with creating a more diverse teaching profession, but that “the most intractable problem is retention.”

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