Teachers’ racial biases result in lowered expectations for students of color, discriminatory disciplinary practices, and curricula that don’t represent students’ cultures. But what if districts could screen out people with those biases during the hiring process?
Experts say that school districts are increasingly asking teacher-candidates questions about cultural competency, race, and equity during the application and interview process. And although districts are trying to diversify their teaching force to better match their students, it’s slow work.
“Ultimately, when we’re looking for people to serve our students, my key questions are: Can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you, [even if] you’re not familiar with their culture? How are you going to teach them as if they were your child, your cousin, your brother, your sister?” said Karen Rice-Harris, the chairwoman for the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators.