See Our Truth

Passion. Resilience. Authority. Trust.

These are some of the words educators of color use to describe the attributes they bring to the classroom — qualities that help them understand, relate to, and empathize with their students.

But New York’s educator workforce does not come close to representing the rich diversity of the state’s students, leaving many Latino and Black students without access to teachers or school leaders of the same race or ethnicity.

When we listen to students, teachers, school and district leaders, and the research, it is clear that in order to ensure all students receive the high-quality education they deserve — one that prepares them for success in college, careers, and beyond — New York State must do a better job improving equitable access to strong educators who are highly skilled, well-supported, and diverse.

Read the full report.

Educator Diversity Playbook

Across New York State there are school districts working hard to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for educators and students alike.

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Seeking Solutions

There are immediate steps that state leaders can take to improve teacher and school leader diversity and strengthen public education in New York. And some of the best potential solutions are already being implemented in districts and colleges across the state. Read more about our recommendations for action steps.

See our policy recommendations

Educator Diversity By The Numbers

The Education Trust–New York provides a first-ever detailed look at statewide data on teacher and school leader diversity. Use our data visualization tool to explore what educator diversity looks like in your local school system.

Explore the Data

Why I Teach

Educators of color face distinct barriers to access and opportunity in their profession. Yet they work to navigate those challenges, staying focused on their students. Read first-person stories from educators of color on why they teach.

Read first-person stories

A Natural Connection

More than 115,000 Latino and Black students attend schools with no teachers of the same race or ethnicity and an additional 80,000 Latino and Black students attend schools with just one teacher of the same race or ethnicity. Read stories about why this matters to students.

Read Student Stories

The View From The Top

Representation of educators of color is at its worst in the highest district office, where just a small percentage of more than 700 school district superintendents in the state are Latino or Black. District leaders from across the state share their own experiences in education, and offer ideas for how to diversify the profession.

Learn about district leaders’ experiences

About This Project

The Education Trust–New York is a statewide education policy and advocacy organization focused first and foremost on doing right by New York’s children, especially those who are low-income or of color. Although many organizations speak up for the adults employed by schools and colleges, we advocate for students, especially those whose needs and potential are often overlooked.

In See Our Truth, we explore what teacher and school leader diversity looks like in districts across New York. Through nearly 100 interviews and a series of focus groups, we have sought to learn from the experiences of and amplify the voices of students and educators of color.

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Get more information about this issue and what it means for your region at