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Tools to help recruit a strong, diverse teacher workforce

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Nearly every school district sets goals for achieving a strong, diverse teacher workforce—yet it's often unclear how to go about that work. A new tool is now available from NCTQ that is designed to help districts identify sources of academically strong, diverse teacher candidates and better target recruitment efforts.

Despite a strong body of literature supporting the importance of both academic selectivity and teacher diversity, they're often erroneously viewed as competing aims. NCTQ's Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions (2021) evaluated 1,256 undergraduate, graduate, and alternative certification teacher preparation programs, and identified 198 programs that are driving greater teacher diversity in their communities while also maintaining adequate admission standards—strong evidence that academic selectivity and diversity are not mutually exclusive.

NCTQ has created a tool to help school districts explore the intersection of diversity and selectivity in each state and identify which programs have high academic standards and a diverse candidate pool.

Click on the image to access the interactive tool.

Tips for Using this Tool

  1. Use the state and program filter at the top to narrow the list to the programs that partner with or are located near your district.

  2. The green section of the tool displays the programs that received an A or B in program diversity and selectivity; those in the uppermost right quadrant are getting an A in both.

  3. Programs in the red section of the tool received a D or F in program diversity and selectivity.

  4. Make sure to click view list when hovering, this will display all of the programs in this section, and link to their program score page.

Answer these questions using our tool to explore options for recruiting strong, diverse candidates for your district:

  • How are the programs that you currently partner with performing in recruiting strong, diverse candidates?

  • What other teacher prep programs are contributing to the diversity of the teaching profession and maintaining high selectivity?

  • Who could you invite to talk to your high school students about pursuing a career in teaching?

What does the research say?

It is well-known that a diverse teacher workforce benefits all students, particularly students of color. It is possible to measure real gains made by Black students who experience even just one Black teacher, in how much they learn129 and the rate at which they graduate, including from college.130

Concurrently, teachers who were strong students are more likely to be effective teachers. There is a substantial body of research that finds the academic aptitude of a teacher, measured in multiple ways, predicts future teacher effectiveness.131 Restricting enrollment into teacher preparation to the top-third of the college-going population is one of the primary mechanisms top-performing programs can use to embrace the important role of prospective teachers' academic aptitude.

Read more research and recommendations on the importance of program diversity and selectivity of admissions in NCTQ's new report, Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions (2021).