The California Educator Diversity Project

Recruiting, Preparing, Developing & Retaining Educators of Color: A Remedy for Improving Educational Opportunity & Promoting Educational Justice

California state policymakers and decision makers have identified educator diversity as a top priority issue, but have not had an actionable blueprint for change. CTS will produce an actionable evidence-based landscape study and briefs that identify policy interventions and promising models that can be undertaken by districts, higher education institutions, state policymakers and local decision makers to improve educator diversity.
GUIDE: A Funding Guide to More Diverse Schools in California

Diversity does not happen in a vacuum. It takes strategic and meaningful action to increase access and opportunity. Policy, practice, and funding priorities need to shift in order for diversity initiatives to be effective and sustainable. We created this guide as a public resource for educators and districts committed to diversifying the educator workforce and meeting the needs of diverse students.


Policy Brief: Prioritizing Educator Diversity with New State and Federal Funding

With COVID-19 relief funding from the American Rescue Plan, California’s education system has a unique opportunity to strategically support a more diverse and sustainable workforce, while also addressing the state’s dire teacher shortages. Our new policy brief highlights opportunities for recruiting, preparing, and retaining more educators of color in California, including increased support for teacher residencies, fee waivers, teacher grants, and early childhood education funding.

WEBINAR | Leveraging New State and Federal Funding for Educator Diversity

Download the slide deck from this webinar.


California’s lack of teacher diversity is more than an access issue

Kai Mathews, the diversity project director at the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA, studies why diversity initiatives fail in California, be it at a company or in education. She said this happens because the state prioritizessurface-level aspects such as policies and practices while ignoring racial power dynamics in the workplace.

“There’s this approach to diversity initiatives where minorities are told, ‘You’re going to come into our space and adapt. We’re not going to actually change our space to be more welcoming to diversity,’” Mathews said. “I think of it like an iceberg where you see the 10% on top and the majority is below the surface.”

The California Coalition for Educator Diversity

The California Coalition for Educator Diversity is a group of researchers and advocates committed to advancing teacher diversity and equity in schools brought together to support the work of the California Educator Diversity Project. Our collective mission is to diversify the California educator workforce by amplifying and elevating evidence-based and equity-centered policy, practice, and research.

Kai Mathews, Ph.D.
Director, California Educator Diversity Project
UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools
School of Education & Information Studies

Marianna Y. Harris, Ed.D.
Director of Education Programs
University of California Merced, Extension

Reino Makkonen
Senior Researcher
Karen Escalante
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education and Foundations
California State University, San Bernardino
Board of Directors, California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE)
Abby Ridley-Kerr
Senior Research and Data Analyst
The Education Trust – West


Jessica Hannigan
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership; Coordinator, P12 Administrator Program
California State University, Fresno

Betina Hsieh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Teacher Education
California State University, Long Beach
California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE) President-Elect

Vincent Stewart
Vice President, Policy and Programs
Children Now


Melissa Eiler White
Project Director

Cathy Balfe
Research Analyst
UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools
School of Education & Information Studies

Shilpa Ram
Senior Staff Attorney
Public Advocates

Desiree Carver-Thomas
Research and Policy Analyst
Learning Policy Institute

Margarita Jimenez-Silva
Chair of Teacher Education, Associate Professor
University of California Davis