Speaking in front of a crowded Loyola University performance hall last Friday, Secretary Duncan made it clear that the United States needs to recruit the best and brightest young people to become the next generation of outstanding teachers.
The Secretary made three stops in New Orleans on Friday, and the purpose of the visit to Loyola’s campus was to hold a TEACH town hall that highlighted and honored excellent educators from the New Orleans area. In attendance were high school and college students, educators, Leigh Torrence of the New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and administrators from Loyola, Tulane, and local school districts.
Secretary Duncan noted that the United States hires about 200,000 new teachers every year, and that over the next decade we will need nearly 1.7 million extraordinary new teachers to replace the retiring teachers of the baby boomer generation, and to meet the demands of a growing population. Duncan also pointed out that while African Americans make up 17 percent of our nation’s student body, only 7 percent of teachers are African American. Additionally, Latino students comprise 21 percent of American students while only 7 percent of teachers are of Latino descent.
The TEACH campaign seeks to not only recruit more teachers in all communities, but it is also designed to raise the profile of the teaching profession nationwide. We at ED know that teaching is a challenging, rewarding, and honorable profession, which is why we need more young people to give teaching some serious thought.