Committee Releases Report On Worcester Teacher Diversity

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A panel put together to examine teacher diversity in Massachusetts' second largest city has released a list of recommendations.

The Worcester Advisory Committee for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce's report released Tuesday includes dozens of recommendations aimed at recruiting, hiring and retaining more diverse teachers, many of which aim to develop candidates from within the system, The Telegram & Gazette reported Wednesday.

While 29% of the city's public school students are white, about 88% of the district's teachers are white, according to state records. Latino students make up about 43% of the student body.

Ivonne Perez, the schools’ chief diversity officer, said there are real benefits to students seeing teachers like them at their schools, including showing them that they can pursue a career in education.

At the heart of many of the suggestions is that more efforts are needed to help aspiring teachers to get a foothold in the industry, starting while they are still in school.

The committee also looked at ways to better retain teachers of color.

The district has already started on some of the initiatives mentioned in the report, and there are existing structures in the city aimed at producing local teachers, officials said.