What We Know

Helping Students Succeed: A Call-to-Action


There is no question that having diverse educators in our nation’s classrooms benefits all students and helps to prepare them to succeed in our heterogeneous society.

Teacher demographics have an impact on students. Empirical evidence from research emphasizes the importance of educator diversity and its positive impact on student’s academic and social and emotional development.

Use the links below to explore prominent research findings on educator diversity, its impact on student outcomes, and the potential of MSIs to further America’s efforts to address the diversity gap in education:

The Educator Diversity Gap

Implications and Outcomes of Educator Diversity

The Role of Minority Serving Institutions

Policy Considerations

The Educator Diversity Gap


  • Connector.

    More than 40% of public schools in the U.S. do not have a single teacher of color

    The National Education Association highlights the educator diversity gap through a Maryland-based example. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Almost every state has a significant diversity gap between teachers and students.

    The Center for American Progress offers a state-by-state analysis of teacher diversity. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Less than one in five U.S. public school teachers are individuals of color, while approximately half of K-12 students are individuals of color

    The Department of Education discusses the need to yield the benefits of a diverse teaching force. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is modest compared to the need for more minority teachers

    Albert Shanker Institute is working to better understand the solutions to increase K-12 diversity. Learn More

Implications and Outcomes of Educator Diversity


  • Connector.

    Diversity and cultural competence are proven factors in improving the quality of America’s teaching force.

    The National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force suggests policies that can increase educator diversity. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Teachers from culturally diverse backgrounds may have a competitive edge working with minority students.

    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation underscores the importance of diversifying the teacher workforce through case studies. Learn More

  • Connector.

    With an educator of the same race or ethnicity, students demonstrate improved academic outcomes.

    Center for Education and Data Research offers a variety of models to support this claim. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Potential teachers of color find the profession important and would like to see greater diversity across the educator workforce.

    Eastern Connecticut State University conducted an analysis of why teachers of color enter the profession. Learn More

The Role of Minority Serving Institutions


  • Connector.

    We should look to minority serving institutions for proven strategies that increase college access and student success for students of color

    The Penn Center for MSI’s highlights the great work occurring at 12 minority serving institutions nationwide. Learn More

  • Connector.

    HBCU's and HSI's are in a position to meet the demand for quality teachers from diverse backgrounds.

    The TeachStrong coalition offers a set of policies to help elevate these institutions’ roles.  Learn More

Policy Considerations


  • Connector.

    By focusing on supports for each stage of the teacher pipeline, we can stop the leaking of minority candidates and teachers.

    Brookings Institute posits how we can stop the leaks and bring diverse educators to the classroom. Learn More

  • Connector.

    We need to focus on long-term strategies that help minorities succeed in college and return to the classroom to help the next generation of students.

    Brookings Institute posits how we can help bring diverse educators to the classroom. Learn More

  • Connector.

    Organizations that approach diversity, equity, and inclusion in parallel have the greatest likelihood of advancing educational opportunity.

    New Schools Venture Fund offers a study to deepen understanding of the diversity of the education workforce. Learn More