National Black Teacher Pipeline Coalition Announced at U.S. Department of Education ‘Thank A Black Teacher’ Event During Teacher Appreciation Week
(WASHINGTON, DC) A group of seven Black-led education reform organizations have united to form the National Black Teacher Pipeline Coalition. The National Black Teacher Pipeline Coalition is an ecosystem of national and local partners working collectively and intentionally to implement a purposeful strategy to dramatically increase the number of effective, culturally-responsive Black teachers in classrooms across our country in order to achieve better outcomes for America’s Black students.
The National Black Teacher Pipeline Coalition’s aims to:
- Inform local, state, and national public policy and advocacy initiatives around teacher diversity.
- Identify and share opportunities and resources that will help elevate each organization’s work as it relates to advancing teacher diversity initiatives.
- Explore, implement and support each organization's best practices in recruiting, supporting, and retaining Black educators in the various regions.
- Build community with like-minded organizations and individuals
Members include the Black Teacher Collaborative, Black Teacher Project, Center for Black Educator Development, Education PowerED, Healing Schools Project, Real Men Teach, and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
As it stands, the number of Black teachers in the U.S. public school system needs to grow by 280,000 to be proportionate to the number of Black public school students. Black students represent 15% of students in US public schools. Numerous studies provide evidence that Black students fare better academically and socially emotionally when they have same-race teachers.
However, Black teachers make up just 7% of the US teacher workforce. For Black men that number is less than 2%, despite evidence that Black male teachers have a statistically significant positive effect on Black students.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Education researcher Dr. Constance Lindsay found that having a Black teacher results in higher educational attainment and lower rates of discipline for Black students. The benefits are pronounced among Black males from low-income households. Exposure to a Black teacher in elementary school for Black boys whose families are consigned to low socio-economic status showed a reduction in high school dropout rates by 39%. Having a Black teacher also raised college-going aspirations among Black boys.
Moreover, Black teachers are more likely to recommend Black students for gifted education. Ohio State University Dr. Donna Y. Ford, an expert on gifted education and Black students, found that factors leading to the underrepresentation of Black students in gifted education include screening and identification issues; quality of students' education; and lack of teacher training in gifted and urban education.
“It is important to support the development, growth and sustainability of Black educator pipelines across the country during this critical inflection point in our history, given the anti-CRT backlash, book banning, and other features of the culture wars that serve to perpetuate white supremacy. Educating Black children well is the highest form of activism and we need committed, well-trained Black teachers to accomplish that,” said Sharif El-Mekki, founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development.
The National Black Teacher Pipeline Coalition in partnership with the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans , co-hosted a ‘Thank A Black Teacher: Celebrating the Impact of Black Educators on Student Success’ inaugural event at the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, May 8, 2023, to celebrate and highlight the impact of Black educators across the country.
“The urgent question we must now answer is how do we create welcoming and safe environments for Black teachers to continue to pass along generational knowledge,” said National Board for Professional Teaching Standards President & CEO Dr. Peggy Brookins.
“The urgent question we must now answer is how do we create welcoming and safe environments for Black teachers to continue to pass along generational knowledge.”
-Dr. Peggy Brookings, President & CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
“I look to the teachers of the past to look toward the future,” said Dr. Jarvis Givens, associate professor of education and faculty affiliate: African and African American Studies, Harvard Graduate School of Education and author, “Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching.”
Center for Black Educator staff members Mimi Woldeyohannes, Director of External Affairs; Taylor Howard, Director of Professional Development; Dannie Thomas, Assistant Director of Professional Development join Dr. Jarvis Givens, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Author, Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching; and CBED Founder & CEO Sharif El-Mekki after inaugural ‘Thank A Black Teacher’ event at U.S. Department of Education.
The in-person event drew more than 150 Black educators from across the country. Individuals were invited to share their experiences and acknowledge the difference a Black teacher has made in their lives on social media using the hashtags #ThankABlackTeacher and #WeNeedBlackTeachers. The hashtags are the taglines of an ongoing public awareness campaign. The live stream attracted viewers nationwide. View event playback.
For more information about the National Black Teacher Pipeline, contact Mimi Woldeyohannes, Director of External Affairs at the Center for Black Educator Development.