The group wants to add 1,000 more black and brown teachers to Duval Schools by 2025

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A report compiled by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) last year showed that the teaching staff at Duval County public schools does not reflect the same diversity as the student body.

Now the band is trying to change that.

JPEF aims to recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male educators by 2025 in an effort to close the teacher diversity gap in Duval County.

JPEF’s original research in 2021 showed that black and Hispanic teachers made up less than 10% of DCPS teachers, while black and Hispanic students made up about 60% of the student body. Duval County’s numbers mirror those nationwide, where the shortage of diverse male teachers is also noted.

JPEF now partners with DCPS and the University of North Florida to achieve its goal.

“Research has really shown us that black teachers, brown teachers, have a significant impact on our diverse learners in particular. We often look to one particular study in North Carolina that found they were 39% less likely to drop out if they had even one black teacher in elementary school,” Rachael said. Tutwiler Fortune, president of JPEF. “When teachers or students don’t have teachers who look like them, they risk not reaching their academic potential.”

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Tutwiler Fortune said some of the reasons the lag is happening are that teaching was once one of the few professions available to women when they weren’t fully included in the workforce, as well as the relatively low salaries. teachers.

“We also look at, you know, how likely are our current learners to enter the profession as well, and we recognize that there is a model effect,” she added. “So if our black and brown students don’t see people who look like them in the teaching profession, they might also conclude that it’s not for them.”

JPEF said it wants to build on current initiatives already in place to recruit more diverse male teachers and launch a marketing campaign this spring to achieve its ambitious goal.

Last year, DCPS had 470 black teachers, or about 7% of the faculty, and about 70, or 1% of teachers, were Hispanic men, Tutwiler Forture said.

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“If we kind of use that as a baseline, that means we’re looking at just under doubling that number of teachers if we’re able to do a good job of retaining the ones we have,” he said. -she adds.

Tutwiler Fortune said increasing those numbers would help not just students of color, but the community as a whole.

“Diversity is important to all of us because of the diversity of our society,” Tutwiler Fortune said. “Our kids really need to know, math and reading, but they also need to know how to get along with each other. The jobs in our future economy are going to require people to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds, and so, you know, this focus on diversity is all about enriching our community, and we know that all children will benefit from that. “

For more information about the initiative, visit JaxPEF.org.

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