Press Release

Statement from Gini Pupo-Walker, State Director for The Education Trust in Tennessee on the Tennessee State Board of Education’s recent adoption of a new educator diversity policy:

“We are encouraged that the Tennessee State Board of Education took a bold, proactive step today in advancing educator diversity in our state with the unanimous vote to adopt this important policy. With the most recent data showing that students of color comprise 37 percent of Tennessee’s student population, only 13 percent of public school teachers identify as people of color. This policy meets the moment and seeks to uncover strategies and solutions to bridge these longstanding parity gaps. Research shows that there are immense benefits for students of all backgrounds to engage with and learn from educators who reflect the diversity of our state and country. With today’s State Board action, Tennessee positions itself as a national leader in promoting a more representative teacher workforce.”

“While today marks a significant step in the right direction,  the rollout and implementation of this policy is equally as important. It is essential that districts are provided with the technical assistance and resources they need to set clear, measurable goals, that teacher diversity data is made publicly available in an accessible manner, and that vital stakeholders – notably, the teachers and leaders of color so central to the success of this work – remain ingrained in the policy implementation process with ongoing conversations and feedback loops at the state and local level. The Education Trust in Tennessee, along with our partners in the Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education, remain committed to achieving increased educator diversity in our state, and looks forward to continued dialogue on this key issue with the State Board and Department of Education in ensuring that every student in Tennessee succeeds.”