16 Pages

Introduction: Why a Diverse Teaching Force Must Thrive

ByLa Vonne I. Neal, Christine E. Sleeter, and Kevin K. Kumashiro

The theoretical framework guiding is critical race theory (CRT), which maintains the salience of race as a factor in understanding inequity in education. For the past 15 years, the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Cortland, a comprehensive college with a large teacher education program located in a rural area in central New York State, has operated a scholarship program designed to recruit and prepare students of color to become teachers in urban areas. The Cortland Urban Recruitment of Educators (CURE) program illustrates the importance of context for design and implementation of programs that aim to recruit and prepare higher numbers of teachers of color. The demographic imperative rests on several arguments about the need for a racially and ethnically diverse teaching force. The cultural match argument holds that if students and teachers share a racial or ethnic background, the teacher may be better able to help students achieve academically.