The best-developed recruitment plan will fail if sustained retention is not a priority.

“We must address the factors that contribute to their decisions to move schools or leave teaching.”

– Desiree Carver-Thomas



Nationally, Educators of Color leave the profession at a staggering rate. According to a report written by Desiree Carver-Thomas (2018) for the Learning Policy Institute titled Diversifying the Teaching Profession: How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color, states “teachers of color move schools or leave the profession at a higher annual rate than do White teachers.”  The report goes on further to describe the cyclical nature of this problem.   

Teachers of color are often the last hired, giving them the least tenured-seniority. Teachers with lower seniority are more likely to work in low-income or and disadvantaged schools.  When these schools close or there are staffing reductions, educators of color are the first to be let go.  This creates transience and adds to for students with the greatest need.

Retention Recommendations

Select the category of recommendation below.

State Recommendations

  • Provide incentives and scholarships to include diverse candidates  
  • Fund, reimburse, and prioritize loan forgiveness to remove historical financial barriers
  • Build pathways for professional growth and development to increase advancement opportunities
  • Foster relationships with Delaware State Education Association to design a continuum of professional learning to increase cultural competency, creating a memorandum of understanding to supplement professional learning outlined in Local Education Agency collective bargaining agreement

District Recommendations

  • Establish measurable retention goals informed by data, and progress monitor to ensure goals are achieved
  • Strengthen existing onboarding, teacher induction, and mentoring programs to address the specific needs and concerns of diverse educators 
  • Prioritize funding to support retention incentives for diverse candidates to retain diverse educators
  • Increase opportunities for growth and development for diverse educators to progress through the educator pipeline
  • Deliver supports for diverse educators in cohort groups to decrease isolation in the workplace and increase networking and collaboration in ongoing professional learning
  • Provide ongoing professional learning to all educators to foster welcoming culturally responsive environments 
  • Conduct periodic equity audits to inform explicit strategies to create a sense of belonging in the workforce

Education Preparation Programs

  • Support cohorts of diverse alumnae educators beyond graduation and program completion
  • Update course and program requirements to reflect culturally responsive pedagogy and social justice standards 
  • Maintain a diverse community of in-service educators to support diverse pre-service
  • Provide wrap-around strategies to support candidates throughout and following preparation programs 
  • Offer flexible programming and scheduling options to support program completion 


  • Partner with local school districts and organizations to increase resources to support the recruitment and retention for diverse educators
  • Focus on incentives and opportunities to aid with tuition reimbursement, housing, and transportation
  • Maximize partnerships to increase retention incentives


  • Examine, change, and eliminate policies that create barriers to diverse candidates from remaining in the Delaware educator workforce
  • Implement progressive legislation to increase educators of color, linguistically diverse educators, and male educators in the Delaware workforce


  • Engage in on-going collaborations to ensure community voice is heard, honored, and valued 
  • Communicate the Diversify the Delaware Educator Workforce Initiative to the community
  • Advocate for policies in alignment with potential and existing pipelines for diverse educators