Education leaders calling to bring more African American teachers to Baltimore City

Baltimore, Md. (WMAR) -

Baltimore City Schools is teaming up with Baltimore Movement of Rank-and-File Educators or BMORE to bring more African American Educators to the city.

Cristina Duncan Evans with BMORE said students will learn better from people who look like them.

 “It’s really important for kids of all races to have educators that are diverse,” Duncan Evans said.  “To have African American Educators, especially important for our black students.”

Duncan Evan said certification issues and racial discrimination make it difficult for African Americans to get job as teachers in the city.

 “Administrators both white and black have a really radicalized view of what a good teacher looks like. I’ve heard a lot of stories about black teachers being more financially precarious. If a divorce happens or if an illness happens it can be harder for a black teacher to recover”

In Maryland only 500 people of color graduate from teacher colleges every year, and a good number of them head to the surrounding counties.

Diamonte Brown, an 8th Grade English Teacher at Booker T. Washington, said that it’s not always easy to teach in the city due to the working conditions and low pay.

“Sometimes I know for me the only thing that keeps me in that classroom sometimes is the fact that those kids look like me,” Brown said. I feel like if I leave I’m abandoning my kids.”

Antwon Cooper, a teacher at Renaissance Academy High School, said there is a disconnect between educator and pupil because they don’t see enough of themselves in their teachers.

“They don’t see that oh I can be a teacher or want to invest in being a teacher once they get older,” Cooper said.

This was the second of twelve planned public forums on the topic.

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