The U.S. Department of Education invited Cyndi Giorgis, Ph.D., dean of UTEP’s College of Education, to participate in the National Summit on Teacher Diversity on Friday, May 6, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
This event is the latest step in the Department of Education’s efforts to increase diversity in the teaching profession so it can more closely mirror the nation’s population.
U.S. Census Bureau minority figures from 2014 showed that Hispanics or Latinos made up 17.4 percent of the nation’s population, followed by African-Americans (13.2 percent), Asians (5.4 percent) and American Indians and Alaskan natives (1.2 percent). A survey of 3.3 million public elementary and secondary school teachers in 2012 by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 8 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were African-American and about 2 percent were Asian.
The UTEP dean was invited because of her interest in or ability to contribute to a national effort to address the lack of diversity in America’s teaching ranks. Giorgis said she plans to network with representatives from other colleges and universities attending the summit.
“I want to share UTEP’s success in preparing our students to successfully enter the teaching profession,” she said.
Summit organizers said their goal is for participants to develop an agenda that will attract, prepare, retain and support educators of color, as well as spark a national dialogue on this pressing issue.
The Department of Education organized the summit with the support from the American Federation of Teachers, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Deans for Impact, Howard University, Leading Educators, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, New Leaders, and Teach for America.