In search of diverse educators, Newark will prepare students to become district teachers

Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat

Newark Public Schools is looking for a new crop of talented, diverse teachers — and it’s turning to its high school classrooms to find them.

The district on Tuesday announced plans to embed a new academy inside the city’s largest high school, where teenagers will take college-level education courses and practice teaching in local classrooms. Superintendent Roger León promised to offer a job in the city’s schools to any student who completes the program and, after college, becomes a certified teacher.

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A handful of districts across the country, among them New York City, host programs that let high schoolers learn about and practice teaching. The American Federation of Teachers has touted such efforts as one way for districts to develop a pipeline of future teachers who better reflect the students they serve.

“We need to have a whole lot more teachers who are men and a whole lot more teachers who are of color,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. She added that programs like Newark’s can also inspire more students to enter the profession at a time when enrollment in teacher-prep programs is declining.

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