Why teacher diversity benefits students of color

Kindergarten teacher Princess Bryant prepares her classroom, from where she will begin the new school year teaching classes virtually because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Tynan Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., September 18, 2020.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Teacher diversity is teacher quality, and students of color especially benefit by having teachers who look like them, says Michael Hansen, co-author with Seth Gershenson and Constance A. Lindsay of Teacher Diversity and Student Success: Why Racial Representation Matters in the Classroom, published in March by Harvard Education Press. Hansen, who is the Herman and George R. Brown Chair and director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, and also a senior fellow in Governance Studies, explains why promoting racial diversity among the teacher workforce disproportionately benefits students of color and helps narrow longstanding achievement gaps.

Also on this episode, Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds explains what’s happening in Congress, specifically the challenge to the Democratic majority in the Senate to make changes to the filibuster to advance their agenda, and also how House Democrats are dealing with obstruction tactics from Republicans in the minority. Also listen to this piece on SoundCloud.

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