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DRIVE Summit: How North Carolina can get more teachers of color

Governor Roy Cooper speaking as part of Students@Work week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMax Dragway Tower (Alex Granados/EducationNC)

On this episode of EdTalk, host Alex Granados talks with Governor Roy Cooper and LaTanya Pattillo, the teacher advisor to the governor, about the upcoming DRIVE Summit and the importance of getting more teachers of color in state classrooms.

DRIVE stands for Developing a Representative & Inclusive Vision for Education, and it brings together a host of educators and education professionals to talk about the importance of teachers of color, and how the presence of such teachers can better prepare students of color for success in education. 

“Right now, probably about half of our public school population are people of color, but about 80% of our teachers are white in North Carolina. And we believe that it’s important to attract more diversity into the teaching profession in North Carolina.” — Gov. Cooper

In the podcast, Cooper and Pattillo talk about the urgent need for more teachers in the classroom. Cooper says that the state is going to need 7,000 to 8,000 more teachers a year than the state expects to have. Both Cooper and Pattillo also talk about research that shows how important it is for students of color to have teachers that reflect them. 

“Students react better and learn better from a more diverse teacher population. We know that often, a teacher of color can inspire a student of color to serve as a role model, and the studies show that all students benefit from this. We want to have this drive summit to bring together stakeholders to figure out how we can approach this issue.” — Gov. Cooper


A look at North Carolina education issues and policy.