The Education Alliance has convened a group of deans, superintendents, and principals to address the low rate of minority participation in the teaching profession. This consortium of six leading colleges and universities that prepare teachers in the Northeast, plus 3 principals and 3 superintendents, has created an innovative program aimed at lowering the barriers to entry by individuals of color into the education profession. This consortium is called the Collaborative Alliance Network (CAN).
Throughout the entire region, there is one consistent fact: The low representation of minorities in teaching. The Northeast is a "bifurcated region," consisting of highly dense concentrations of populations in urban centers, as well as significant expanses of sparsely populated rural areas. Suburban districts across the region have also begun reporting increases in their numbers of minority students. When minority candidates are hired, they are concentrated in very particular areas of the central cities with few being hired in the suburbs. In the rural areas, the low incidence of minority populations in the schools does not support major recruitment efforts into the education profession. CAN addresses all three concerns.
Towards the goal of sharing resources, strategies, and outcomes, CAN has developed a conversation series for 2007 entitled, "Increasing Diversity Within the Education Profession." The purpose of these conversations is to discuss ways of creating new opportunities for diversifying the teaching force.