December 2, 2019

Melanie Rucinski (Harvard University) and Joshua Goodman (Brandeis University)

Policymakers have developed an interest in how to make the teaching profession better reflect the increasingly diverse student body of US schools. In this brief, we describe racial diversity at various stages of Massachusetts' teacher development pipeline. We show that the lack of diversity in Massachusetts' teacher workforce largely stems from early stages of the teacher development pipeline. Licensure exam takers and passers are substantially less diverse than the college-enrolled population, but among those who pass the exam there are few racial differences in rates of initial teaching employment or retention. Efforts to improve teacher workforce diversity should likely focus on diversifying the initial pool of licensure exam takers and improving pass rates on the exam.

Racial Diversity in the Teacher Pipeline: Evidence from Massachusetts