Letter: Teacher diversity is not just a numbers issue

A Globe West article on Dec. 16, “Education’s Changing Face,’’ highlighted the need for minority teachers in schools, especially those with increasingly diverse student populations.

The article speaks to one of the main initiatives of the Brookline Asian American Family Network, which has since 2009 been advocating for more Asian American teachers and staff, given that our children are the largest minority group in the Brookline schools at 18 percent of the student population.

But this is not just a numbers issue. We appreciate the article’s recognition that minority teachers can serve as role models, help minority students better connect with their schools, and perform better academically.

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We appreciate the article’s documenting past efforts by school systems to actively recruit specifically for minority teachers, not only within Massachusetts but also from other states, as we have been advocating for the same.

Other ideas include intern/student teacher partnerships with more diverse teaching programs and universities, and examination of hiring practices with data analysis. We would also advocate for more training of all teachers and staff on cultural competence.

For more information on BAAFN, visit www.brooklineasianamericanfamilynet.weebly.com, or www.facebook.com/groups/baafn.