U.S. Department of Education to Promote Educator Diversity Through National Convenings

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education to Promote Educator Diversity Through National Convenings

September 5, 2023

Extending its commitment to support school systems as they find new and innovative ways to encourage, invest in, and support teachers across America, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host two convenings focused on educator diversity.

The two events, the Teach to Lead Summit and the Conference on Equity in Opportunity, will take place in Denver, Colorado, beginning on Oct. 26, 2023, and bring together key educational leaders for national conversations about the importance of educator diversity in our nation's schools. During these events, the Department will bring together leaders in effective educator development to discuss key issues related to promoting educator diversity. The events are designed to lift effective practices and obtain additional insights from participating educators and organizations about how to elevate educator diversity in our nation's schools.

"To Raise the Bar for learning conditions in our schools, we must make sure every student in every community has equitable access to outstanding educators who represent the diversity of the communities they serve and are well-supported, well-prepared, and fully empowered to lead in the classroom," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Both of these events will provide educators, school leaders, and state and local officials with opportunities to share new and exciting ways to grow the workforce with additional diverse and talented educators. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to work with state and local leaders to invest in our educators and provide students with the rich learning experiences and academically rigorous education they deserve." 

Launched in March 2014, Teach to Lead was designed and led by teachers. To date, 18 summits have taken place all over the nation supporting 453 teacher leadership projects. To create systemic and sustained change, Teach to Lead involves and encourages collaboration among stakeholders at every level of education. Teach to Lead is a partnership of the Department, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and Teach Plus. Teach to Lead envisions a world in which teachers are valued as the foremost experts in instruction, and as such, are leaders of informing, developing, and implementing education policy and practice to steer systematic improvements to benefit student learning. Over 180 diverse Supporting Organizations that also believe the power of teacher leadership and innovation are part of the effort. 

This announcement comes as Secretary Cardona is embarking on his "Back to School Bus Tour 2023: Raise the Bar" featuring stops in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Throughout this week, Secretary Cardona, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, and Under Secretary James Kvaal will join national, state, and local school leaders to speak with students, parents, and educators for events that celebrate the back-to-school season and underscore the Administration's commitment to helping students recover from the impacts of the pandemic and continue on the road to success. As part of the bus tour, Administration officials will highlight academic and mental health programs and efforts to recruit and support educators funded by President Biden's American Rescue Plan, which provided historic resources to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to reopen schools and help students of all ages recover. 

The Department remains committed to ensuring qualified teachers are in schools and continues to prioritize teacher diversity in the workforce. The Department recently released a policy brief, Raise the Bar: Eliminating Educator Shortages through Increased Compensation, High-Quality and Affordable Preparation and Teacher Leadership, that highlights how states nationwide are taking strategic steps outlined by the Biden-Harris Administration to support the effective recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers. The pandemic resulted in the loss of 730,000 jobs, or 9 percent, of all local public education jobs from February to May of 2020. While recovery has varied by state, as of June, at the national level there are now only 1.2 percent fewer individuals working in local public education than before the pandemic. The Department will issue additional guidance later this year on its work to increase the diversity of our educator workforce and to address particularly high-need shortages areas. To date, the Department has announced new awards totaling more than $45 million to support teacher diversity and recruitment efforts, including:

  • $14.5 million in Teacher Quality Partnership grants to improve the quality of prospective and new teachers, including by improving educator preparation programs and supports for new teachers 
  • $12.7 million in Supporting Effective Educator Development funds to support the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. These grants also will enable recipients to develop, expand, and evaluate practices that can serve as models to be sustained, replicated, and scaled and include career advancement opportunities for current teachers.   

Conference on Equity in Opportunity

The Department is hosting the first Conference on Equity in Opportunity, Oct. 26-27 in Denver. This event will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy leaders to discuss priorities for a diverse workforce in education, identify hurdles to making a diverse workforce a reality, disseminate and amplify effective practices, and share information about grant funding to increase equity and access to funding opportunities. The conference seeks to foster thoughtful conversations around how to ensure that every student has access to outstanding, well-prepared, well-supported educators who reflect the diversity of the students they serve. Information on how to register for the conference can be found here. 

Powered by Teach to Lead Summit

The Department is hosting the next Teach to Lead Summit on Oct. 27 in Denver. Teach to Lead Summits are regional convenings to spotlight and advance teacher-led work across the country. During the Teach to Lead Summit, teams of educators will collaborate to develop approaches to investing in a talented and diverse teacher pipeline using practices such as partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions; improving the work environment to support educator well-being; or supporting educator development to improve student learning.

For more information about these events, visit the Effective Educator Development website.

The list of teams selected for the Fall 2023 summit is provided below:   

District Team   

State 

Chandler Unified School District 

Arizona 

High Point Academy 

Colorado 

Jeffco Public Schools 

Colorado 

Center City PSC 

Washington, DC 

Gwinnett County Public Schools 

Georgia 

Oak Park Elementary School, District 97 

Illinois 

Kentucky Educational Development Corporation, with Bell County Schools 

Kentucky 

Magoffin County School District 

Kentucky 

Sophie B. Wright Charter High School 

Louisiana 

Howard County Public School District 

Maryland 

Codman Academy Charter Public School 

Massachusetts 

George Washington Carver Academy 

Michigan 

River Rouge School District 

Michigan 

Barrington Public Schools 

Rhode Island 

Beaufort County School District 

South Carolina 

Charleston County School District 

South Carolina 

Richland County School District One 

South Carolina 

Blytheville Schools, and Pulaski School Special District 

Tennessee 

Somerset ISD 

Texas 

Hancock County Schools, Weir High School 

West Virginia