News

New Scholarship Program Aims to Grow More Diverse Teacher Workforce in Houston

Studies show that when students of color have at least one teacher of their own race or cultural background, they perform better.

The new scholarship program with Teaching Excellence, an alternative certification program, aims to train and support teachers of color, not only to enter the classroom but also to continue for long careers.
The new scholarship program with Teaching Excellence, an alternative certification program, aims to train and support teachers of color, not only to enter the classroom, but also to continue for long careers.

A new scholarship program is ramping up in Houston in March to grow a more diverse teacher workforce, trying to ultimately improve student achievement by closing the so-called diversity gap in classrooms.

Studies show that when students of color have at least one teacher of their own race or cultural background, they perform better. But that’s not the case in many Texas classrooms.

“While more than half of all public schools students are students of color, more than eight in 10 of all teachers are white,” said Calvin Stocker with Teaching Excellence. It’s an alternative teacher certification program run by YES Prep Public Schools.

The certification program usually costs about $4,700 for aspiring educators. But an almost $800,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation will provide scholarships, targeting teachers of color.

“We believe in diversity and we believe in ensuring our students are taught by teachers that share their racial and cultural background and celebrate that,” Stocker said.

He explained that they plan to enroll over 600 educators over the next two years. About half of them are expected to receive some kind of financial aid.

The Teaching Excellence program trains educators not only for YES Prep charter schools, but other charter programs in Houston and Dallas, as well as the Spring Branch Independent School District.

 

Share

Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

More Information