Recruiting and Retaining Highly Effective Teachers of Color

Authors: Juliane Baron and Jacqueline Greer


The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to providing the best possible education to all students. Research has established that students of color experience benefits to social and emotional development and learning outcomes when taught by educators of color. Diverse educators and administrators are particularly important for schools with many students of color. Accordingly, schools across the country should prioritize hiring highly-effective teachers of color. This policy proposal identifies opportunities to recruit—and retain—highly effective K-12 educators of color.

As a first step, the Biden-Harris Administration should create an Under Secretary of Diversity at the Department of Education (ED), charged with organizing a White House Summit to establish the value of a diverse teacher workforce and convene leaders to identify best practices and a strategy for Federal Government support of state, local, and private programs. Following the summit, ED, led by the Under Secretary of Diversity, should revisit current programs that identify high need areas, such as math, science and special education to include the pressing need for diverse educators. Simultaneously, the administration must work with Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, incorporating the previously introduced College Transparency Act to ensure robust data reporting and evaluate the effectiveness of financial incentives.

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About the Authors

Juliane Baron is the Executive Director of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS), a coalition of scientific societies committed to advance the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. Previously, Juliane was the Director of Government Relations at the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Following several years as a social worker and in the classroom, she has worked to make connections between practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to inform and strengthen policy and practice decisions. She holds a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jacqueline Greer is the Chief Program Officer for Urban Teachers, a national teacher residency program. She works across UT’s operations in three sites—Baltimore, Dallas and the District of Columbia—and prospective future sites to ensure UT’s fellows and residents are effectively prepared for an impactful teaching career in urban public and public charter schools. Prior to this role, she served as the Executive Director of the DC program, where she grew the program from 40 aspiring teachers to nearly 400 serving in nearly 100 schools. Jacqueline was an Education Pioneers Fellow in Boston Public Schools and earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her M.P.P. from Harvard University.