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July 1, 2021

ASCD Supports Educator Workforce Diversity Efforts in Houston

ASCD has partnered with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to support efforts to strengthen its talent pipeline for male educators with a focus on recruiting and retaining men of color.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 1, 2021 Ken Pratt, 1-407-247-4958 HOUSTON, TX—ASCD Supports Educator Workforce Diversity Efforts in Houston
ASCD, the nation's leading association for K-12 educator professional development, has partnered with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to support efforts to strengthen its talent pipeline for male educators with a focus on recruiting and retaining men of color.
In early June, ASCD's Professional Learning Team worked with the HISD office of leadership and teacher development to plan and implement the district's first Men's Leadership Summit. The summit brought together more than 100 students, educators, and community members to engage in both informal and facilitated discussions around the role of student-teacher relationships, pathways to education careers, family and community partnerships, the digital divide, racial justice and anti-bias work, and career and technical education.
HISD is the largest school district in Texas and one of the most diverse, with more than 196,000 students at 280 schools, approximately 90 percent of whom are students of color. Only 26 percent of the district's 27,195 employees are male and just 19 percent of that group identify as teachers of color. Statewide, only 10 percent of Texas' teacher workforce identifies as African American—and only 3 percent of that group are men.
Research shows that teacher diversity can play an important role in helping students of color to feel a sense of safety and belonging and achieve greater academic success. One study shows that Black students who had at least one Black teacher in elementary school were 7 percent more likely to graduate high school and 13 percent more likely to go to college than peers who did not.
In the last three years, the Houston Independent School District has developed new career-pipeline programs, leadership professional development opportunities, and recruitment-outreach efforts designed to get more men, especially men of color, to consider entering—and to stay in—a mostly white, mostly female profession.
"We have had the opportunity to partner closely with HISD over the last five years," said ASCD Chief Impact Officer Penny Reinart. "We meet with the HISD team weekly to understand what the district needs for educator professional growth and what we can do to help get them there. We were thrilled to work with the district on their inaugural Men's Leadership Summit, and we are looking forward to continuing these intentional efforts to cultivate diversity in our educator workforce."
HISD Senior Manager for Leadership Development Lauren Ford said: "As ASCD continues to grow with education, I'm expecting us to meet those needs and challenges together for every one of the people that we serve. "I honestly don't want to hear any other name when you're asking me for someone to go to bring the thunder that you need. We went from using ASCD as a resource to using ASCD as a partner in the work that we do."

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