The Christian Science Monitor

Next up for men of color? A place at the front of the classroom.

Head of School Manuel Fernandez chats with students between classes in the hallway of his middle school, Cambridge Street Upper School, on June 5, 2018, in Cambridge, Mass. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Principal Damon Smith remembers a time when his students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Massachusetts had a black principal, black assistant principal, black mayor, black governor, and black president – all at the same time. But he sees a need for black men to push open the door to the next frontier: the kindergarten classroom.

“We need more practitioners of color, particularly black male teachers, in our classes K-12.” he explains in his office on a recent afternoon. “President Obama is just a step. It shows you what is possible,” 

His school district has made teacher diversity a priority in recent years. Ahead of this past school year, Cambridge Public Schools had 89 job openings, 44 percent of which were filled by people of color. For the coming school year, more than 44 percent of new hires for the high school alone will be people of color, according to district

A way to stem dropoutsNeeded: morale boostsForging ahead in Cambridge

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