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MCPS Launches Bold Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is launching a four-part initiative to drive the district’s efforts to increase the diversity of its teacher workforce.
“We believe our students need to experience the rich variety of perspectives that come from having a diverse teaching force,” said Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of schools. “Our community is stronger and our schools are better when we learn together as a diverse community.”
Dr. Starr announced the MCPS Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative at the December 9, 2014, Board of Education meeting. The school system is seeking to recruit and retain high-quality teachers that reflect the diversity of its student enrollment, including teachers of color and others with backgrounds, skills and experiences that are underrepresented in the current workforce, such as those who are multilingual. Dr. Starr said a more diverse workforce will strengthen the outstanding work MCPS does every day to prepare students for success in their future.
“We have an exceptional workforce that cares deeply about our children and has produced excellent results,” Dr. Starr said. “We want to build on that success and create even more opportunities for our students to be well prepared to live in our diverse community and the world beyond by learning from teachers that come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”
For many years, MCPS has worked to recruit and develop a more diverse workforce, but the efforts have not been as effective as hoped. In 2014, for example, white teachers make up more than 76 percent of the total teacher workforce.
The initiative, which is the result of collaboration across the system including the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), SEIU Local 500 and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals, is focused on making rapid and significant changes to increase the diversity of the workforce.
"Our students need to see a diversity of people in all roles in the school system so that they see that their aspirations are possible," said Doug Prouty, president of MCEA. "While we are certain that any and all of us are capable of teaching all of our students, the fact is that it is important for our students to work with educators who share their backgrounds in our schools."
The Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative includes strategies in four key areas—recruitment, selection, retention and internal talent development.
MCPS will make recruitment a year-round process that taps into college and university alumni networks and partnerships that exist in the school system to enhance recruitment of teachers with diverse backgrounds. This will include:
The teacher selection process and timeline will be redesigned to ensure that MCPS is competitive in today’s job market. This will call for:
MCPS will work to establish itself as a desirable, diverse and sustainable place to work and build a career. This will include:
Internal Talent Development
Creating strong local teacher pipeline programs will be essential to diversifying the MCPS workforce and providing a sustained talent pool for years to come. This will be accomplished by:
Teacher Workforce Diversity Strategic Plan
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