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AATG Joins Seventy-Five Education Organizations in Calling for Greater Teacher Diversity

Wednesday, May 22, 2019  
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The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) has signed onto a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress today calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms.

The letter states, “We believe that increasing teacher diversity elevates the teaching profession and improves the lives and outcomes of all students,” and calls on all parties involved to play a role in addressing the problem. The letter volunteers the services of the signing organizations to help Congress and the Department of Education to determine how proposed regulations and legislation may impact teacher diversity.

The letter, citing federal data and university studies, reports that 53 percent of public school students are children of color, while only 18 percent of teachers identify as a person of color. Studies reveal this disparity causes overall lower student achievement and outcomes, especially in populations of at-risk students and students of color.

“In signing onto the coalition’s letter in January of this year, the AATG Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to ensure the study of German by a diverse American population taught by a profession whose members themselves reflect the racial and ethnic composition of our nation,” said AATG President Susanne Rinner. “Through the ongoing Alle lernen Deutsch initiative and our Teacher Recruitment project focused on early identification of prospective German teachers, AATG is working toward that commitment.”

More than seventy-five education organizations representing teachers, pre-service teachers, school counselors, education staff, principals, superintendents, charter school leaders, education reformers, tutors, and teacher educators have signed the letter. The list of signatories includes American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, United Negro College Fund, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Association of Teacher Educators, National Network of State Teachers of the Year, Educators Rising, National Association for Multicultural Education, and Kappa Delta Pi.

Colin Sharkey, Executive Director of AAE Foundation and organizer of the project, highlighted the variety of signatories, “That such a broad range of organizations can come together and endorse a single statement reflects the seriousness of the issue and the selfless commitment of the signatories to advocate for what is best for students.”

“We know that diversity in the teaching force has a positive impact on all students and are excited to be a part of this coalition of educators,” said Keith Cothrun, AATG Executive Director.

More information, including the full letter text, list of signatories, articles and studies cited in the letter, is available at aaeteachers.org/diversity.


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