Washington State has a major disparity problem when it comes to educators representing the kids in their classrooms. According to the Seattle-based League of Education Voters Foundation (LEV), nearly half the state’s K-12 students are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color, yet nearly 90% of of the state’s teachers and education leaders are white.
On Thursday, October 26, LEV will hold a free webinar on the topic. The “Advancing Washington state Educator Diversity in School Districts and School Buildings LEVinar” online event starts at 12:30 p.m. Registration is free, but required to access the Zoom conference.
Teacher diversity brings success
Why is diversity in the teaching field important? Studies, show BIPOC students exposed to teachers who reflect their race and ethnicity perform better on standardized tests, have better attendance and less suspensions, and have higher graduation rates when they have at least one same-race teacher. Researchers Constance Lindsay and Erica Blom wrote in a report for the Urban Institute, that “a diverse teaching workforce can also benefit all students by exposing them to people from different backgrounds. Yet, the teaching workforce in the United States remains predominantly white, even as the student body grows increasingly diverse.”
Guest speakers during the event include:
- Vindhya Adamala, a member of the Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC)
- Wyatt Santucci, a member of the Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC)
- Dr. Marissa Winmill, Co-Teaching Cohort Lead/ELL Teacher at Kent-Meridian High School in the Kent School District
- Justin Hendrickson, Principal at South Shore PreK-8 in South Seattle, where 45% of the certificated workforce are educators of color
- Larry Quisano, Director of Recruitment and Workforce Diversity at Spokane Public Schools
- Sung Kim, Director of the Technology Access Foundation’s Network for EdWork
- Mary Beth Canty, Curriculum and Induction Senior Manager of the Seattle Teacher Residency program at the Alliance for Education
“We will discuss why we need to attract and retain educators of color, what we can do to position educators of color for success, and how can we work together at the school district and school building level to support and sustain a diverse education workforce in Washington state,” sais LEV Co-CEO and Communications Director Arik Korman in a release announcing the event.
Live Spanish interpretation and closed captioning in English will be provided.
Not able to attend in real time?
If you are interested in the topic but can’t make it to the lunch-hour webinar, register anyway Korman says. Space is limited for registration, but LEV will provide a link to webinar recording to watch at a later time.
More at Seattle’s Child: