Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative is a Promising Start
By Patricia O’Neill
My Board colleagues and I were pleased to hear about the superintendent’s new initiative aimed at creating a more diverse teaching workforce in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). We agree with Dr. Starr that now is the time for bold steps to create a workforce that is more reflective of the diverse community we serve. One of the great strengths of Montgomery County is our rich racial, cultural and linguistic diversity. This needs to be reflective in the staff we hire to serve our students across the district.
There’s no question that we have an exceptionally committed and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to meet the needs of our students. I, and my colleagues, see this great work going on in our schools every time we visit and we know this will continue going forward. But it is important that our students learn from teachers and staff from many backgrounds. Diverse classrooms led by diverse staff create opportunities for rich exchanges of ideas.
The superintendent’s four-point plan focuses on recruitment, selection, retention and talent development. Work is beginning immediately on this initiative and we expect to see results in next year’s hiring. But more importantly, we will see sustained improvement over time if we execute the plan well.
The Board and the superintendent will monitor the plan to see that we are making the progress we need to make. I encourage our community to follow our progress and join us in creating a workforce that reflects our values as a community.