UPPER MARLBORO, MD — Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) has released workforce diversity recommendations to address the scarcity of Latino educators in the majority-minority school system. The Workforce Diversity Task Force’s final report addresses the need to increase the recruitment, development and retention of highly-effective educators who reflect the diverse student enrollment, specifically the rapidly growing Latino population, in schools throughout the county.
Launched in 2016 by the school system’s Office of Human Resources, the task force analyzed staffing, student enrollment data and workforce diversity initiatives, including those focused on enhancing the pipeline of Latino and male educators. The task force concluded that increasing the number of Latino educators is critically needed to address changing student demographics.
“Teachers who reflect their students’ backgrounds have more empathy and can better relate to students who see them as role models,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer. “I am grateful to the Workforce Diversity Task Force for serving as an invaluable resource in developing evidence-based practices to improve our workforce effectiveness. Working together, we will fulfill the Promise of PGCPS by supporting outstanding academic achievement for all students.”
The percentage of Latino students now exceeds 30 percent, nearly double the number from a decade ago, and continues to increase. However, the number of Latino educators in PGCPS is less than 5 percent.
Since 2014, PGCPS has:
- increased the number of Latino teachers from 205 to 402.
- doubled the number of Latino administrators and supervisors from 8 to 16.
- maintained an 82 percent retention rate of Latino staff.
- staffed immersion schools and International High Schools with diverse candidates.
- partnered with the Spanish Embassy to hire more than 40 teachers.
The task force was comprised of six subcommittees: Sourcing of Teacher Candidates, Sourcing of Administrator Candidates, Grow Your Own Teachers and Administrators, Higher Education and Professional Development, Cultural Competence and Support, and Communication and Branding.
The 15 recommendations were organized around three major themes as listed below:
Sourcing of Teachers and Administrators
- Develop state and local legislative bills to support teacher and administrator workforce diversity.
- Rebrand and strengthen 21st Century PGCPS Future Educators Academy.
- Provide “open contracts” to prospective teachers within PGCPS high school graduates pool.
- Create teacher referral incentive program.
- Establish foreign exchange programs for teacher diversity and provide international experiences for existing teacher corps.
- Identify current diverse staff with administrator certification.
- Develop an alternative certification program for school administrators.
Cultural Competence and Support
- Adopt non-discriminatory statement for all staff.
- Create expectation of cultural responsiveness among all staff.
- Create culturally-proficient professional development
- Develop culturally-responsive recruitment, selection and retention practices
Partnerships, Communications and Branding
- Conduct comprehensive analysis of PGCPS Latino teaching candidates.
- Develop partnerships with two- and four-year colleges/universities with high number of Latino students.
- Convene university partners to raise awareness of PGCPS workforce diversity initiative.
- Engage in garnering political advocacy to support PGCPS workforce diversity initiative.
- Leverage community and faith-based organizations to create positive messaging about workforce.
- Establish strong partnerships for diverse teacher sourcing.
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation’s 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.