Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs) make earning certifications accessible to a larger and more diverse population. We have always known this to be true. In Texas last year, there were 1,663 African-Americans certified through ACPs and only 538 from University-based programs. Shortly after these numbers were shared, Teach for America came out with a study on how diverse university programs were. We learned that we are on their heels and plan to inch ahead! While 51% of their teachers are non-white, we are proud to come in at 46%.
This is huge, especially in light of a 2016 Department of Education study on the State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce, which found that “the most recent U.S. Department of Education Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a nationally representative survey of teachers and principals, showed that 82 percent of public school teachers identified as white.” Besides building the pipeline of teachers for our schools, ACPs help bring a much greater diversity to teaching.
This is important to note as over half of our nations K-12 students are children of color. Their teachers, however, are 80% white*. It is shown that while having a teacher of color is benefical for all student populations, is it particuarly so for students of color. We strive to deminish the diversity gap and are proud that our program is helping to combat this issue.
*Source: Francies, Cassidy. “Improving Teacher Workforce Diversity.” Ed Note, 2020, ednote.ecs.org/improving-teacher-workforce-diversity/?utm_source=ECS+Subscribers.