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Diversity in the teacher pipeline

By Learning Forward
April 2019
Vol. 40 No. 2
Given that over 5 million K-12 students in the U.S. public school system are classified as English learners (NCES, 2017), many policymakers and school leaders recognize that public schools need ethnically and linguistically diverse educators. But about 80% of teaching staff are white (Williams, Garcia, Connally, Cook, & Dancy, 2016), and only 13% speak another language in addition to English. To bridge this gap, some school districts have turned to bilingual paraeducators (sometimes called paraprofessionals or teacher aides) to support students’ learning — and to cultivate the next wave of licensed teachers. In 2012, the Northern Nevada English Learning Initiative, a consortium of education entities in and around Washoe County, Nevada, received a grant from the federal Office of English Language Acquisition to develop and

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Authors

Toni Rader and Shawn Pennell

Toni Rader (tlrader@washoeschools.net) is a coordinator at the Education Support Professionals Division of the Department of Professional Learning in Washoe County School District. Shawn Pennell (spennell@nevada.unr.edu) is director of academic affairs at Multnomah University Reno-Tahoe.

References

Bybee, R.W. (2015). The BSCS 5E instructional model: Creating teachable moments. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M.E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective teacher professional development (Research Brief). Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.

Deardorff, P., Glasenapp, G., Schalock, M., & Udell, T. (2007). TAPS: An innovative professional development program for paraeducators working in early childhood special education. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 26(3), 3-14.

Ellis, R. (2015). Understanding second language acquisition. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Giangreco, M.F. (2003). Working with paraprofessionals. Educational Leadership, 61(2), 50-53.

Gray, L., Taie, S., & O’Rear, I. (2015). Public school teacher attrition and mobility in the first five years: Results from the first through fifth waves of the 2007-08 beginning teacher longitudinal study. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Keller, C.L., Bucholz, J., & Brady, M.P. (2007). Yes, I can!: Empowering paraprofessionals to teach learning strategies. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 39(3), 18-23.

Krashen, S.D. & Terrell, T.D. (1983). The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. London, England: Prentice Hall Europe.

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Fast facts: English language learners. Washington, DC: Author. Available at nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=96.

Podolsky, A., Kini, T., Bishop, J., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2016). Solving the teacher shortage: How to attract and retain excellent educators. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.

Saunders, W., Goldenberg, C., & Marcelletti, D. (2013, Summer). English language development: Guidelines for instruction. American Educator, 37(2), 13-25, 38-39.

U.S. Department of Education. (2004). Title I paraprofessionals: Non-regulatory guidance. Washington, DC: Author.

Williams, C.P., Garcia, A., Connally, K., Cook, S., & Dancy, K. (2016). Multilingual paraprofessionals: An untapped resource for supporting American pluralism. Washington, DC: New America.


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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.


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