The Struggle is Real
Our nation has approximately 50.4 million students who attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 42% are children-of-color living in poverty. It is forecast that this demographic will increase at an accelerated rate and it is well documented that poverty is closely correlated with gaps in educational achievement.
Additionally, teacher retention, particularly in underperforming schools, is a real struggle. Teachers who are not prepared for the challenges they will face in the classroom on day one are vulnerable to giving up.
Add to that the fact that most teachers don’t have the coaching, mentoring or support once they start to know how to face and conquer these challenges, and it’s obvious why teacher attrition is a real and valid issue.
In addition, teachers have students with language barriers who may come to school hungry or with other core needs unmet, often a full grade level behind their fellow students in key competencies.
Studies show that the most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher. When teachers are well-prepared to teach our students in historically marginalized communities, education becomes the great equalizer.