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The Many Ways Teacher Diversity May Benefit Students

Education Next – Anna J. Egalite and Brian Kisida

“Four black NBA superstars opened this year’s ESPY awards with a powerful speech decrying the current state of race relations in America, which they described as plagued by “injustice, distrust, and anger.” In a stark display of frustration and passion, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James highlighted the urgency for unity and change, stating, “We all have to do better.” By using their celebrity status to promote social change, these star athletes stood as influential role models for millions of Americans, including the children who idolize them. But students of color shouldn’t need to rely on star athletes to find positive role models to emulate. In schools across the country, teachers of color serve that role every day, inspiring students towork hard and aim high. Although these slogans might seem a little saccharine, the hopes and expectations that teachers hold for their students matter. Those authentic sentiments of a reassuring mentor are the armor a young person uses to fight off moments of self-doubt and perceived inadequacy as they venture out into the world.”(more)

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