California State University Receives Federal Grant to Prepare more Latinos to Become Teachers
The U.S. Department of Education awarded a new $8.1 million grant to the California State University to fund efforts to prepare more Latinos to become teachers. This comes after numerous studies showed that black and Latino students did better in school when their teachers look like them. The money aims to give the state’s largest student demographic group more opportunities to learn from a Latino or Hispanic teacher. Sacramento State, Long Beach State and Sonoma State will each receive roughly $2.7 million over a five-year period. Thomas S. Dee, a professor of education at Stanford and director of the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, states:
There’s a growing body of research that shows the congruence between teachers and students on race, ethnicity and even gender appears to help students.
The CSU system produces more teachers in California than all other institutions combined, with its roughly 6,800 annual graduates. The federal grant money will help the campuses with things such as developing strategies to attract more Latino candidates for teaching careers and also providing the candidates with social and professional services that help them gain a sense of community and receive greater hands-on training in the classroom. According to state data, two-thirds of California’s teachers were white and a fifth was Hispanic in 2014-2015. Students may also be motivated to perform better because they’re likelier to view teachers who look like them as role models. Hopefully these efforts to get more diversity is accomplished and more students are able to excel in school.