Charlotte Pullins, the director of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Arizona Charter Academy, was selected to present a session at the National Charter School Conference in Washington, D.C.
The conference took place in June.
Pullins based her research and presentation on the positive impact of students seeing a teacher that looks like them. For instance, she noted, Dee (2004), Egalite et al. (2015), and Yarnell and Bohrnstedt (2018) all found positive academic benefits including increased academics and graduation rates when students shared the same race as teachers.
“With the student population of students of color approaching 50% in the past decade, only 16% of teachers follow suit,” Pullins noted, adding that in addition to recruitment, research also shows teachers of color are leaving the field at a higher rate than their white counterparts.
“For teachers of color, nearly 20% of beginning teachers leave the teaching field, compared to only 15% of non-minority teachers. With more teachers leaving teaching than entering each year, schools with a majority of high poverty, high minority students have a 70% greater turnover rate than Non-Title 1 schools.”
To look at the impact of student achievement, Pullin’s session at the conference highlighted the strategies and techniques used to not only recruit Black teachers to school districts, but how to keep them there.
The session also discussed how to build a more diverse teaching staff, highlighting the need for school districts to incorporate strategies to retain teachers of color.
During the session, discussions were centered around research-based strategies and qualitative experiences of teachers of color in today’s work environment. Special attention was paid to the heightened racial climate in society and what that meant for working with colleagues who are of different races and ethnicities.