Jacksonville Public Education Fund Announces Collective Goal to Recruit and Retain Diverse Male Teachers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., October 25, 2021 – The Jacksonville Public Education Fund recently announced a community-wide goal to better recruit and retain diverse male teachers in Duval County.

In partnership with others in Jacksonville, JPEF committed to help recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male educators by 2025 to help close the teacher diversity gap. This represents an annual growth of at least 12%.

“For years, research has shown that teachers are role models, and all students benefit when they see diversity among their teachers,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “Through this announcement, Duval County is joining communities around the country who have chosen to focus on teacher diversity as a key lever to improving student outcomes and promoting education equity. I’m incredibly proud of my hometown for making this public commitment.”

The announcement, made at JPEF’s EDTalks luncheon, builds on JPEF’s original research showing the lack of representation among the Duval County teaching workforce. The JPEF study showed Black and Latino male teachers made up less than 10% of teachers in Duval County Public Schools, while Black and Latino students make up about 30% of the student body. The Duval County numbers mirror those across the country, where the shortage of diverse male teachers is also acute.

“The idea of diversifying the teacher education pipeline requires all hands-on deck,” said Dr. Rudy Jamison, a professor at the UNF College of Education and Human Services. “I don’t think there has been a comprehensive strategy, so this collective approach is extremely important. I don’t know of any organization that is equipped to lead this effort other than JPEF.”

JPEF will collaborate with partners including Duval County Public Schools, the University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services, education partners such as Teach for America and City Year, as well as local and regional historically black colleges and universities in this effort. The initiative will also employ innovative strategies, such as providing financial incentives to faith-based partners, male teacher influencers, and peer mentors to help recruit and retain teachers while portraying teaching as a respected, rewarding career for both women and men.

The EDTalks fundraiser, which featured guest speaker Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, a Princeton professor and best-selling author, has raised over $20,000 to support this work. The event was made possible through the generous support of The Chartrand Family, the speaker sponsor, gold sponsors Poppy and Rob Clements, Cindy and Dan Edelman, CSX, The Miller Families, READ USA, Inc., anonymous in honor of James Baldwin, silver sponsors The Honorable Judge Brian J. Davis, The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, SS&C Technologies, Terry & Lon Walton, and many others. 

“We know there is an undeniable link between student achievement and diversity among our educators, particularly when it comes to our young men of color having role models in the classroom who look like them,” said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “This fuels our teacher recruitment efforts, and I am so thankful to JPEF for taking the lead in creating a comprehensive approach that brings together community partners that we can collaborate strategically around this important goal.”

Contact Betsy Penisten, Associate of Communications and Development, at betsy@jaxpef.org for more information.

About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent think-and-do tank that believes in the potential of all students. We work tirelessly to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color. We convene educators, school system leaders and the community to pilot and help scale evidence-based solutions that advance school quality in Duval County. For more information: www.jaxpef.org.

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