NEW Research from TERA finds Black and male teachers recieve lower observation scores than white and female peers.
New Research Reveals Disparities Along Racial and Gender Lines in Teacher Observations
Recently the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) released new research that reveals stark disparities along racial and gender lines in teacher observations over the last decade. Regardless of the evaluation system used (i.e. TEAM, COMPASS), Black and male teachers in Tennessee have received lower observation scores than White and female teachers every year since the state’s evaluation system began in 2011. This holds true across all school levels, even when teachers have similar qualifications (i.e. experience levels and degree attainment) and student achievement growth scores. This is extremely unfortunate and problematic; it has strong implications that impact the recruitment and retention for Black and male teachers.
Since TECA’s inception, we have consistently heard from teachers of color in districts across the state that they lack access to leadership opportunities (teacher leadership, aspiring instructional coaches and aspiring administrator programs) and roles. Admission and selection to the many of the programs and roles, take into consideration an educators’ overall evaluation score, oftentimes referred to as level of effectiveness or LOE. In many instances, teacher observations make up 50-70 percent of teachers’ level of effectiveness. For Black and male teachers that have continually and consistently received lower observation scores, this can have an impact on their ability for career advancement and progression, which may influence their decision to leave the profession.
Teachers of color make up approximately 15 percent of Tennessee’s educator workforce, and of that total 12 percent are Black teachers. In order to increase teacher diversity in the state, it is paramount that we retain our existing teachers of color. TERA’s research illuminates one of many racial inequities that our educator workforce faces.
TECA Executive Director quoted in Education Week article on what Districts are doing to attract Principals of Color.
It’s not enough for school systems to say they desire a diverse workforce. They must explicitly make a commitment to doing so.
Click to read the article.
Click to read article: Tennessee revises its enforcement of law prohibiting classroom discussions about race and bias
...But Diarese George, the director of the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance, says this law is ultimately a disservice to students and educators.
“This is the kind of legislature that impacts anybody who’s committed to being truthful in classrooms,” George says.
He worries that the law and its vagueness could discourage teachers from addressing issues around racism that are unfolding in real time — whether in current events or on school grounds.
“The same things we’re trying to remove educators from discussing, talking, teaching about, bringing into the classroom are the same things that are happening in school districts and schools systems across the state,” George explains...
Earlier this year, we conducted some surveys and focus groups to help us revamp our membership experience. One of the things you shared was you wanted more tailored professional learning! We're excited to launch the first virtual PD training in that series based on your feedback. This will be a live webinar. If you are unable to attend, you will be able to watch the playback on our website. Register below!
Best Practices and Strategies for Trauma-Informed Teaching
Wednesday, November 17. 2021
3:30-5:30 PM on Zoom Webinar
PD Description: Dr. Marcus Matthews will share strategies that help educators assist traumatized students self-regulate and deescalate when in potentially hazardous situations. This professional development will give specific and practical strategies that will help teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents develop healthy and supportive relationships with students who might not have had healthy and supportive relationships with any other adults in years, if ever.
**We will be able to provide certificates of completion if you are able to receive in-service credit at your district. Please check with your district first!**
Dr. Marcus Matthews
Principal, Consultant, & Author
Dr. Marcus Matthews is an author, educational leader and consultant and motivational speaker. He holds a doctorate in higher and adult education, a master’s in instruction and curriculum leadership and a bachelor’s in journalism, all respectively from University of Memphis. He also earned his K – 12 Instructional Leadership License from Christian Brothers University. The Memphis native has 17 years of experience in education having served in the roles of English teacher, literacy specialist, behavioral specialist, behavioral analyst, dean of students and assistant principal. His previously was the assistant principal at Nicholas Hobbs Academy (Youth Villages), a non-profit psychiatric residential treatment facility serving more than 100 young men with severe behavioral/emotional/mental challenges in a Level 4 (maximum security) setting. He is currently the principal at Frayser Community Schools in Memphis, Tennessee.
Interested in learning more about the strategic planning process?
Click the image below to learn more about Schermco’s unique approach to strategic planning and how it helped TECA secure a six-figure grant to expand our work across the state of Tennessee. This podcast episode is ideal for executive leaders, funders, and other stakeholders interested in organizational growth and supporting educators of color.
SchermCo is a national social-impact implementation firm that offers strategic advising, organizational development, and implementation services to schools and education-focused organizations that support underserved communities. We reinvest 1% of our time/funds back into the communities we serve.
TECA Executive Director Diarese George on the TDRS podcast discussing the importance of Black educators.
TECA Executive Director Diarese George serves on Hunt Institute Panel: Building Culturally Affirming School Environments
Our ED Diarese George served on a panel this week held by The Hunt Institute in partnership with Teach Plus.
As America’s public education system continues to become more diverse, debate persists around the consideration of race in curriculum and instruction. However, students and educators both demonstrate higher performance and overall well-being when race and culture are intentionally integrated into their classroom experience. In this webinar, The Hunt Institute is collaborating with Teach Plus to discuss the findings of their report Making Culturally Affirming Schools A Priority: Lessons from Teachers of Color in a Time of Crisis. Resource experts will discuss efforts to create culturally affirming spaces in schools.
The Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance has selected 12 Knox County Schools educators to participate in the inaugural cohort of its Tennessee Educators of Color Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year in Knox County. This is an exclusive partnership with the Knox Education Foundation that will develop, connect and elevate educators from racially ethic and diverse backgrounds in the areas of policy, advocacy, and leadership skills to improve outcomes for students in Knox County, especially those that are most vulnerable. We're excited to work with these educators this year!
We're excited to welcome our second cohort of Fellows this academic year! They kicked off last month to a great start. We are looking forward to the amazing work that they are going to accomplish! Be sure to reach out and congratulate them! We'll also be highlighting them individually on our social media throughout the month.
The Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance (TECA), in partnership with The Education Trust in Tennessee, has established the statewide Educator Diversity Advocacy Council. The council, which is comprised of current and aspiring educators as well as leaders in education administration, public policy, and advocacy, will be focused on a statewide effort to improve teacher diversity in public schools across the state
The primary goal of the Educator Diversity Advocacy Council is to serve as architects of the 20×25 Campaign. The campaign will seek to increase the percentage of educators of color in Tennessee by 20 percent by the year of 2025. The council will create a policy and advocacy agenda to advance the recruitment and retention for educators of color statewide
“We are ecstatic to collaborate with these leaders as we work towards a more equitable and inclusive educator workforce reflective of the students we serve in Tennessee,” said TECA Executive Director Diarese George, Ed.D. “We are even more excited about the opportunity to elevate the voices of educators of color in this specific work. We are encouraged to know that this forthcoming policy agenda will be set by people who have a passion for this work and we know that it will be informed by their lived experiences and their professional expertise.”
Members of the Council are:
Dr. Diarese George, Executive Director, Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance (Co-chair)
Gini Pupo-Walker, State Director, The Education Trust in Tennessee (Co-chair)
Jonathan Brown, First Grade Teacher, Hamilton County Schools
Nicholas Clifton, Child Development Major, Maryville College
David Cowan, Assistant Principal, Rutherford County Schools
Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Instructional Facilitator, Shelby County Schools
Aleah Guthrie, Director of Policy & Government Relations, TN SCORE
Neven Holland, Fourth Grade Teacher, Shelby County Schools
Lindsey Mattingly, Manager of Resident Development, Nashville Teacher Residency
Carlin McGlown, Assistant Principal, Tipton County Schools
Brittany Paschall, ELA Resident Teacher, Nashville-Teacher Residency
Beatriz Salgado, Assistant Principal, Metro-Nashville Public Schools
Evetty Satterfield, School Board Member, Knox County Schools
Shanacia Thomasson, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools
Dr. Linda Treadwell, School Counselor, Knox County Schools
Amber Tyus, Director of Talent & Acquisition, Metro-Nashville Public Schools
Dr. Rick Vanosdall, Professor and Interim Dean, Middle Tennessee State University
Angellica Wright, First Grade Teacher, Metro-Nashville Public Schools
Dr. Troy Yarbrough, Special Education Teacher, KIPP Nashville
ABOUT TENNESSEE EDCUATORS OF COLOR ALLIANCE
The mission of Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance is to amplify the voice, presence, and support for educators of color while remaining student-centered and solutions-oriented. The central belief of TECA is that all students benefit from teachers and administrators of color, especially since many of these educators were once students of color themselves. Because of these shared experiences, educators of color are able to speak to the systemic inequities that students of color face. Many of Tennessee’s policymakers do not look like or represent the majority of students in our schools and TECA believes in elevating teacher leaders of color to be policy advocates for their students.