A diverse teacher workforce benefits all students, particularly students of color–and teacher preparation programs can maintain strong admissions standards while at the same time diversifying their enrollment, according to new research from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).
Research has found that having same-race teachers increases student achievement, improves the likelihood of graduating high school and attending college, and can lead to lifelong benefits for students of color. At the same time, teachers who were themselves strong students are more likely to be effective teachers. Greater selectivity in admissions to teacher preparation programs provides students with access to the highest quality teachers, helps to raise the status of the teaching profession, and supports the push for higher teacher salaries.
The new data and analysis examines both the academic admissions requirements and diversity in enrollments in more than 1,200 of the nation’s elementary teacher preparation programs. The Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions (2021) assesses 198 programs that are driving greater teacher diversity in their communities while also maintaining adequate admission standards–strong evidence that academic selectivity and diversity are not mutually exclusive.
These 198 programs earning high marks for both diversity and selectivity in a field of 1,256 elementary programs are notable for the fact that they constitute almost half of the 420 programs earning high marks for diversity–indicating just how achievable it is for diverse programs to impose reasonably strong admissions standards.