Increasing Hispanic representation in education

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Today, the show focuses on an issue that affects everyone: the teacher shortage. There is an underrepresentation of Latino educators, with about 16% of the teaching workforce being Hispanic, and about 13% being members of school boards. Here to talk about that is Stephanie Parra, executive director of the group All in Education, a group looking to increase representation of underserved communities.

What are we seeing with the gap in representation?

Parra broke down what All in Education found in their annual report on Latino education achievement and overall representation in education. According to the report, the Hispanic community makes up:

  • 16% of teachers
  • 13-14% of school board members
  • 16% of administrators

These numbers come despite Latino students comprising 43% of the K-12 student population, according to Parra.

Parra said an achievement gap becomes the result.

While we are again that large number, our students are not graduating at that same rate as their white peers, so we are in about the 70%, while 83% of white students are graduating high school, just as an example. And those gaps in attainment carry all the way down to 3rd grade reading.

Stephanie Parra, All in Education executive director

What are the causes?

Parra cited a lack of talent in teaching, saying that increasing diversity could improve student outcomes.

“There is research that tells us that if I can see myself in the person that’s leading my classroom, I’m more likely to come to school, my attendance rates increase, my behavior issues go down, I attain higher, and I’m going to college at higher rates, so there is academic research to back this up.”

Are there solutions?

Strong suggestions include encouraging students to pursue teaching as a career and encouraging parental involvement, according to Parra. She mentioned a program run by All in Education that educates parents on the school system and the best ways to navigate it.

“We’re seeing that parents are now seeing themselves as potential educators and have an interest. So, again, there’s talent in our community if we choose to see it that way.”

Stephanie Parra, All In Education executive director

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