Establishing programs for candidates and requiring district personnel to complete video training on implicit bias and anti-bias in the hiring process
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: STEPHEN SIDORAK, (860) 933-8100
For the second time in as many weeks, the General Assembly’s Education Committee has passed legislation aimed squarely at issues of student and teacher equity.
ConnCAN applauds the passage of Senate Bill 1034 which will improve minority teacher recruitment and retention in the state. Currently, about half of Connecticut’s public school students are children of color and only 9.6% of Connecticut’s educator workforce are people of color.
ConnCAN Executive Director Subira Gordon said: “Study after study has shown that students of color perform better when they have at least one teacher who looks like them. They can also be held to different standards than their white counterparts.”
Gordon added: “Building a more diverse educator workforce will take decades unless we are very intentional about it. This legislation will build a much-needed teacher pipeline, and will support HR professionals in addressing potential implicit biases during the teacher hiring process.”
Dr. Sana Shaikh, a parent and educator from Higganum and 50CAN National Voices Fellow said: “It is an incredibly powerful experience to see people in power that look like you and reflect your values and background. I wished I had teachers that I could relate to as I was growing up and grappling with what it means to be a person of color in this world.”
Currently serving as Director of School Operations in Springfield Public Schools, Dr. Shaikh completed her dissertation on the intersection of racial identity and relationships in developing culturally responsive classrooms. She has two masters, one in Urban Studies from Johns Hopkins and one in Social Policy and Management from Brandeis University. Her PhD is in Social Policy and Management from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management.
Dr. Shaikh added: “I have worked in education my entire life and I am so heartened by the progress that we are making when it comes to talking about race, bias, and the power that educators wield when it comes to shaping the lives of their students but we have so much more work to do.”
At the Education Committee’s March 17th public hearing, Gordon testified: “The residency program in partnership with the grow your own pathway allows students to have that window that Rudine Sims Bishop wrote about; the window to see what a student can become. Bishop also wrote that ‘when the light hits a window in a certain way it becomes a mirror. That reflection is what will challenge us as a state to continue to do more.’”
A copy of the bill can be found here.
About ConnCAN: ConnCAN, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, is leading a movement to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids. We bring advocates, policymakers, parents and educators together to change the system and give all kids access to the great public schools they deserve. Learn more at conncan.org.