Offering professional development opportunities that cultivate a path to career success for educators in Delaware. Learn how we support Educators of Color.
About the DDEW Initiative
The Diversify the Delaware Educator Workforce (D.D.E.W.) is a professional learning community consists of diverse Delaware stakeholders. The professional learning community is comprised of representatives from District and Charter School Leadership, Teachers, District Administrators, Institutions of Higher Education, Legislators, Business and Community Members, Delaware State Education Association, the Delaware Department of Education, and the Office of Equity and Innovation. We are committed to improving the educational outcomes of all students in the state of Delaware with a specific focus on students of color.
To achieve educational equity, we recognize that we must address the teacher diversity shortage in the educator workforce. Through effective recruitment and retention strategies, culturally responsive teaching and leading, and targeted professional learning we believe we can improve teacher diversity in the Delaware educator workforce.
D.D.E.W. fosters inclusive school communities that are welcoming to all.
D.D.E.W. supports recruitment and retention strategies for Educators of Color and Linguistically Diverse Educators with a focus on the continuous professional learning required to improve the cultural competence of all Delaware stakeholders.
The Race and Culture
of a Teacher Matters
Ensuring that all students see themselves represented in the teaching profession is a critical and necessary step in achieving educational equity. Diverse educators have the ability to connect to all students, but research shows this connection is specifically advantageous to students of color. Students’ of color culture and identity is often eliminated from the educational experience in America. Research and data support positive educational benefits for all students if they experience a diverse teaching force (CCSSO, 2019). Students of color, specifically black students benefit when they experience at least one educator of color. Studies have found that black students who had at least one black teacher in third, fourth, or fifth grade were less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to aspire to go to college.
For Black boys, the dropout rate was cut by 50 % if they had just one black teacher. (Gershenson, Hart, Lindsay, Papageorge, 2017). Research shows that educators of color also benefit white students and prepare all students to “increasingly global society” through exposure and interaction to people of all backgrounds. Students that have early exposure to people from diverse backgrounds are less likely to have stereotypes, unconscious biases (CCSSO, 2019)
Benefits to students of color when teachers of color are represented in the workforce:
- Increased student performance in reading and math
- Increased likelihood to graduate from high school
- Increased aspirations to attend college and increased graduation rates in college
- Increased expectations for student achievement and behavior while upholding compassion and empathy for hardships
- Increased access to higher level courses
- Increased connection to students because of perceived cultural similarities
- Increased support with combating systemic racism, bias, and stereotype
- Increased support with development of cultural identity
- Decreased suspension and expulsion rates for discretionary offenses
- Decreased absenteeism
- Remove systemic barriers that prevent the recruitment and retention EOC in the workforce
- Dismantle systems that promote inequitable outcomes in education
- Advocate for social justice and equity in education for all students
- Provide expertise as a collective resource for strategies, research, best practice, and policies that support and advance educational outcomes for communities of color
- Create opportunities for students of color to maximize talents to positively impact all students as a collective