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The Educational Pipeline Working Group

 

The National Latino/a Education Research Agenda project, of which Centro is the founding institution, highlighted in our publication (Centro 2003<!-- Is that the journal> Isn’t it called CENTRO, all capitals? -->) the issue of teacher recruitment, retention, and training as the second most important problem needing attention, after accountability and assessment in terms of school reform. NLERAP is including this issue in a review of the research literature on Latino/as <!-- Can’t make this out again. -->and public education funded by the Spencer Foundation (Centro 2007- 2008), and has recently been awarded a small grant (Centro 2008-2009) from the Ford Foundation to begin a national dialogue focused on research, policy, and innovative alternative programming that can impact the present conditions.

 

The Teacher Pipeline Initiative

 

One of the main reasons the teaching corps situation is so dire is that the number of Latino/as attending and completing four years of college, as well as those entering teacher-training programs, is critically low. In response to this situation, a working group has been organized at Centro around the data needed to inform and complement/supplement the NLERAP focus group efforts to engage these concerns from the perspectives and experiences of Latino/as. The idea is to tap into national databases to obtain hard statistics on teacher work force characteristics; data on drop-outs from the profession, and gaps in school systems personnel that need to be adjusted due to the new demographics across the country. The group will examine exemplary programs addressing teachers’ preparation and make recommendations for strategies on improving the recruitment of Latino teachers.

 

Working Group Participants:

 

Ofelia Garcia (CUNY Graduate Center)

Carmen Mercado (Hunter College)

Ana Maria Villegas (Montclair State College)

Edwin Meléndez (Centro)

Pedro Pedraza (Convener, Centro)

Luis Reyes (Centro)