This Learning Brief, through a case study approach featuring the Sausalito Marin City School District and its Superintendent Dr. Itoco Garcia, looks at how Marin Educators for Equity Initiative Partners are working together to increase their BIPOC educator workforce so that it more closely aligns with the demographics of the county’s student population.
Marin Educators For Equity: Inclusive. Representative. Culturally Responsive.
By 2028, Marin’s educational ecosystem, from cradle to career, will provide all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code or financial circumstance, access to racially diverse educators. This educator diversity is important because Educators of Color (EOC) are uniquely poised to support a more culturally responsive learning environment that is inclusive and representative of students’ diverse backgrounds and lived experiences as well as promotes culturally responsive curriculum, policies, and structures across all learning institutions.
The Initiative seeks to increase the number of educators of color across Marin county so that the workforce more closely aligns with the demographics of the student population.
This Initiative will focus on the following strategies:
Grow Your Own Pathways: Improve training and support infrastructure for teachers of color through CTE pathways, teacher residencies and credentialing and degree completion guidance.
Recruit & Hire Diversity: Improve and increase antiracist recruitment and hiring policies and practices.
Retain Quality Educators: Improve organizational culture, increase access to affordable housing and affinity spaces, and improve HR policies.
Below is a list of Partners engaged in this Initiative:
A diverse collection of institutional and community leaders are joining BIPOC youth and families across the county to envision a pathway for BIPOC students to become EOCs who are well supported, well compensated, and fulfilled at every step of the journey.
- College of Marin
- Dominican University of California
- Marin County Office of Education
- Novato Unified School District
- San Rafael City Schools
- Sausalito Marin City School District
- Shoreline Unified School District
- Tamalpais Union High School District
- The Branson School
The Marin Educators for Equity Initiative (MEEI) is focused on increasing the number of educators of color in Marin County to more closely align with the demographics of the student population. By utilizing a collective impact approach and centering the needs and aspirations of BIPOC students, this initiative’s process and programmatic vision aim to directly address structural racism that creates barriers for people of color to attain careers in education. Increasing EOCs is important because all students benefit from excellent educators who reflect the diversity of the students they serve and whose skill set includes a culturally responsive approach. Students of color benefit from the feeling of belonging that having culturally relevant educators and role models that look like them provide. Students from white backgrounds also benefit from having educators of color, who reflect today’s global and multilingual college and career landscape.
Comprised of senior leaders from the TK-12 public and independent school systems, local institutions of higher education, and community based organizations, this initiative envisions a comprehensive Educator of Color Pipeline to support the development and retention of educators of color. This comprehensive and cohesive pipeline knits together a series of programs, support systems, and experiences into a clear pathway. While students interested in becoming educators will be able to enter and exit at various places along the pipeline, many will start in a CTE Educator Pathway in 10th grade. Upon graduating high school, these students will be qualified to be hired as paraprofessionals while completing undergraduate studies at a community college or regional California State University. Through collaboration among partner institutions, these undergraduate years will offer an apprenticeship that aligns paid work with coursework and a “grow your own” mentorship program that supports students as a cohort. Following this low cost undergraduate degree, students qualify for a teacher residency with generous stipends for credentials in high need areas. Together, this cohort then moves through induction and into professional learning communities as they develop their craft throughout the first five years of their careers. This pipeline is designed specifically to meet the needs and interests of BIPOC students, offering a cohesive support system of EOC mentorship, culturally responsive college access/success supports, and racial affinity groups that span the full length of the pipeline.
Work is underway by partner institutions to develop key program components. Backbone Team support provided by MPP and E3 are essential to facilitating alignment and collaborative action under the collective impact model. To date, the initiative has served 113 EOCs across the county through racial affinity groups and an Equity Forum. While the total capacity of the pipeline has not yet been defined, it is important to note a few key numbers:
- CTE Educator Pathways under development at high schools in two partner districts envision serving cohorts of 30 students in each graduating class.
- Models for teacher residencies envision cohorts of 23-25 credential candidates. With 140 certificated vacancies in the county each year, there is potential for multiple cohorts annually.
- The Marin County Office of Education’s state funded support of paraprofessionals pursuing credentials is over-enrolled at 30.
With the state and federal governments supporting the development of EOC pipelines, this work is timely. The Backbone Team will continue to actively share the model and progress with the national StriveTogether network, Promise Neighborhoods network, and the CA Cradle to Career Coalition.
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