Diversifying the teacher workforce needs to be a priority for developing a more equitable public education system. Students of color represent the majority of students in United States public schools but are instructed by a teacher workforce that is approximately three-quarters White (NCES, 2021). This reality is problematic given that demographic mismatches between students and teachers can influence disparities in academic outcomes (Grissom et al., 2015). Prior research indicates that assignment to a same-race teacher significantly increases Math and Reading achievement of Black and White students (Dee, 2004) and promotes more personal effort, happiness in class, and feeling cared for and motivated by their teacher (Gershenson et al., 2017). However, White students disproportionately benefit since they are more likely to be assigned to a same-race teacher.

The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Charter School Office (CSO) is committed to supporting the 80 public charter schools under its authorization in creating more inclusive and equitable school communities. The CSO seeks to understand (a) the extent the GVSU teacher workforce is representative of the students served and (b) how the GVSU workforce compares to demographically comparable traditional public schools (henceforth titled “comparison schools”). Insights from these analyses will provide the CSO with a greater understanding of how they can better support schools in recruiting, hiring, and retaining a workforce representative of the students served.

Included in

Education Commons


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.