America Needs More Black and Hispanic Male Teachers

The statistics have almost become cliché: Black elementary and high school students score lower on standardized tests, on average, than their white or Asian counterparts. For years, educators have searched for solutions. For Kwame Griffith, a senior vice president at Teach For America, the way to help narrow this achievement gap is by recruiting more black and Hispanic male teachers.

“Every leader that commits to this work can have a massive impact on their kids, regardless of background,” said Griffith, who has worked at the education corps for 10 years. “But I’ve also seen how a corps member of color can be a role model for his/her students that has a profound impact beyond being an excellent teacher.”

Griffith, 32, said that seeing more black male teachers can inspire students in and outside the classroom.

“We need to set up our kids, our families, our communities — the most disaffected — and have them play a real role, as people of color, that they accept and embrace,” he said.

The statistics have almost become cliché: Black elementary and high school students score lower on standardized tests, on average, than their white or Asian counterparts. For years, educators have searched for solutions. For Kwame Griffith, a senior vice president at Teach For America, the way to help narrow this achievement gap is by recruiting more black and Hispanic male teachers.

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