As Washington State's schools become ever more diverse, this is an exciting and important time to increase the diversity of teachers - from preschool all the way through the elementary grades. The teaching profession is one of the most satisfying and rewarding careers choices someone can make, and it is imperative that this pathway is open, smooth, and attractive to all future educators, especially students of color who reflect the exciting diversity of K - 6 classrooms. Across the nation, the education system still has a long way to go in breaking down the barriers that stand in the way of a genuinely pluralistic teaching corps. National and state demographic data indicate our public schools are staffed by 85% white teachers while children of color are 50% of the student population - and significantly higher in major urban areas (Banks, 1999).
Our sponsors have joined with Central Washington University in a yearlong initiative to increase ethnic diversity in the education cohorts at the west side centers. The goal of this project is to have well trained teachers who are capable and competent to teach diverse student audiences. This goal is achieved by pursuing the following objectives:
Reading in a classroom
PO Box 13490
Des Moines, WA 98198-1007
Des Moines Center