Every person has a unique story to tell: Where they came from, what obstacles they faced, and how they got to where they are today. Among the many stories, one characteristic always seems to stand out: each person either had a role model who helped shape them into who they are today or obtained an education that gave them opportunities to be who they strived to be.
I grew up in a time and place where there were very few Latino educators. More Latinos were settling into Oregon, but the school districts were not prepared to serve them. My father was able to work his way out of the fields and into the classroom, becoming a teacher. I witnessed firsthand how difficult it was to be one of a handful of Latino teachers in the public education system. He was treated differently than the rest of his colleagues. Since he was the only Spanish speaking teacher, administration would call on him often to interpret for a parent, often times disrupting his class.
The students my father taught were all Latinos, which is still common in many school districts in Oregon: Latino teachers teaching Latino students. Times, however, have changed since my father taught in school. Yes, there are still students who need to be in a Spanish-speaking classroom, as they receive help in transitioning to English speaking classes. But there are also Latino students who speak English just as well as Spanish, and they are slipping through the cracks. My hope for the future, especially for K-12 schools in Oregon, is that we continue to shine a light on Latino students regardless of where they are in the system.
Oregon’s K-12 schools have paid attention to their English language learners (ELL), which is wonderful. But we also have students who have been here for generations who are not doing as well. They speak perfect English, but are poorly integrated into the system. Without role models or teachers who see their potential, they often fall through the cracks. Many bilingual Latinos are more than qualified to attend college or university, but because they don’t know their options, they don’t move forward. We need teachers in Oregon to reflect the students they serve. This needs to be a top priority for our K-12 schools statewide. We need more diverse teachers in the districts.
Every diverse teacher we add could change the system and culture of a school. Students would see a teacher similar to them achieving something they might not have thought possible. I was fortunate to have a Latino father as a teacher, showing me every day that education was valuable. When I attended the School of Business at Portland State University, I learned that a diverse workforce is powerful. The more perspectives you have the better decisions, products, and services you provide to your customers. People want to relate and the best way to do so is by seeing someone similar. I believe this is true in the public school sector as well. Students want to relate to their teachers and having a diverse pool of educators will only increase their success.
I’ve been actively involved in Oregon’s K-12 schools as an adult. As I continue to engage with the education system, I’ve come to realize how similar my path is with that of my father’s. I know that change is not easy nor is it always successful. I’ve been a school board member in the Woodburn school district; in fact I was the first Latino ever elected. I also worked for the district as the director of parent and community engagement. Currently, I am serving on the State Board of Education. These positions were not easy to achieve; but as an advocate for Latino students and a Latino myself makes them mean even more to me. I have learned a lot over the years, such as one vote is not a majority and that not all I expected would be as it seems. I thought my presence would change things for the better; however, I quickly learned that you have to listen, learn, and build relationships to move things forward. I now understand that we can change the policy of an organization, but the day-to-day operations are harder to change and take much longer to move.
I have been given a lot of wonderful opportunities as a Latino living in Oregon. This didn’t happen by chance or luck, but because of people who believed in me and helped me see what I could achieve. My hope is that Latinos of the future are given the same opportunity and see their potential just as I did as a young child raised by parents who started by working in the field and decided to work harder for more.
We all seem to agree that effective teachers drive student achievement. So it’s no surprise that many efforts are directed at increasing teacher effectiveness—from more rigorous licensing exams, to reconstructing teacher evaluations and the evaluation process.
With so much focus on the teaching profession, from recruitment to retirement, what could be missing? Time. That is, time for teachers to collaborate with one another during the day, and have tools and resources available to them. Time to be able to work and plan together, to collectively manage instruction in order to get the most out of teacher and student efforts, and provide a consistent interwoven curriculum plan that builds on each component for students.
In 2013, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted an International Teaching and Learning Survey to more than 100,000 teachers worldwide. The summary of that survey indicated that despite the fact that teachers in the US work more hours per week on average, they spend considerably less time collaborating with their peers than teachers in other countries.
Marc Tucker, director of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), in his recent report, “Fixing Our National Accountability System” (2014) builds a case that in the US, teachers typically teach approximately 80 percent of the day in front of students, while teachers in top-performing countries average 60 percent of their time in front of students with the remaining time set aside for collaborative planning. Research indicates that US teachers spend 3-5 hours per week on average working collaboratively, while their counterparts in high-performing countries have collaborative planning time with colleagues an average 15-20 hours per week. Tucker’s contention—supported by high-performing student results in these countries—is that consistency in instruction, care in planning for engaging learning experiences, and meaningful assessment are products of adequate time for teacher planning and collaborative work.
The often-heard response to pleas for increased teacher collaboration time is: “funding is standing in our way”. Is it? Are there creative ways to leverage funding and find ways to deliver instruction and enrichment activities to students that provide more time for teacher-directed collaboration? How about an experiment where we increase the collaboration time by 25 percent for a group of teachers through the use of differentiated staffing, community members providing enrichment activities matched to curriculum standards, technology integration, or increased fine arts experiences? Even fitness and play options—such as nutrition classes taught by the school lunch team and programs like Playworks—could offer alternative ways for students to have additional positive learning experiences taught or facilitated by support staff and others.
With creative planning we can tackle the issue of time while still providing students meaningful, enriched, and targeted learning experiences. After six months we can assess our outcomes and compare the results with students whose teachers did not have the opportunity for increased collaborative planning time. We may find the answer is right in front of us.
We would like to introduce Chris Chavez, a new author at ChalkBloggers.
Chris currently teachers social studies at Liberty High School, in the Hillsboro School District. Previously he was a teacher in the Woodburn School District for ten years.
I recently read Dr. Hilda Rosseli’s piece Oregon’s Educators Workforce Diversity: Still Falling Short regarding the 2014 Oregon Minority Teacher Act Status Report. As an educator of color I am, and continue to be, very conscious of the lack of diversity in education. Since the passing of the Minority Teacher Act of 1991 we have seen a growth in the number of minorities entering and completing teacher programs but, according to the report, we saw only an additional 10 minority teachers added to the workforce in 2013-2014 from the previous year. Yet according to the numbers compiled by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission in June 2014, between the public and private Oregon educational institutions we saw 221 culturally and linguistically educators complete their initial teacher licensure programs.
Even with the new proposed change under Senate Bill 755 that was recently introduced that would redefine as a minority any staff member whose first language was other than English, parity across our state would still be far from being achieved. Given the current progress of the hiring of minority educators, I support the Oregon Educator Equity Advisory Group’s assertion that parity includes a re-examination of recruitment, interviewing, and hiring practices at the district and building level.
This would mean that districts consciously, actively, and systematically recruit more minority teachers, whether Latino, African-American, Asian, women, disabled, etc. As districts and communities embrace diversity, there is a need for us to address this re-examination proactively.
The incorporation of more minority teachers plays an important role in changing the perception of minorities in society, and in all students, regardless of demographics. Especially if these teachers are hired to teach in the core subjects: science, math, English language arts, and social studies. In the case of some minority educators, we would even add the benefit of more bilingual teachers who are endorsed in core subjects, and increase our capacity to implement fully bilingual programs. Furthermore, the different perspectives and experiences of these new teachers would be an invaluable resource to our staff as teachers and as future leaders.
I am often amazed how few educators—including educators of color—are even aware of the Minority Teacher Act of 1991. To move forward, I believe the issue of parity should be part of any school improvement plan, utilize current minority teachers to recruit teachers, and, most importantly, districts recruit from their own community of graduates.
We have made great strides and I applaud the progressive steps we have taken. Parity is just another step in our long journey as a society and toward our goal to provide the best and most equitable education possible for all students.
Last month, the Distinguished Leaders Council (DLC) released its report and recommendations for improving school leadership in Oregon. Recognizing the urgent need, and grounded in the recommendations from the DLC, Chalkboard Project is partnering with the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington to launch a program aimed at building districts’ capacity to develop effective principals. The program’s goal—designed for current central office leaders who have supervisory roles with principals—is to strengthen central office administrators knowledge and skills in the leadership practices that ultimately drive significant gains in student achievement by increasing the capacity of school principals. As the DLC noted, principal supervisors who prioritize instructional leadership, emotional intelligence, and student-centered accountability are ultimately better able to support principal performance. I’m pleased to say that we are now accepting applications for the first cohort, due back to Chalkboard on October 30.
A hallmark of effective school principals is that they find a way to prioritize instructional leadership over traditional administrative tasks. While no two schools operate exactly alike, in my experience a common trait in schools led by highly effective principals is that they empower leadership at all levels of the organization, which allows them to focus more deeply on improving student achievement.
Through coaching teachers in the classroom, working with teachers and staff to respond to formative assessment data, and managing human capital, principals become a key lever in school improvement. Effective principals are highly visible in their schools. They provide useful feedback and ensure high-quality professional development resulting in strong school cultures of support, trust, and continuous improvement. They lead through an equity lens to develop and advance culturally responsive practices and close achievement and opportunity gaps.
Yet for many principals, the seemingly endless number of administrative tasks can often overwhelm their best intentions to devote significant time to instructional leadership. It can feel like a trap. As a former principal, I can attest first hand to the challenges of juggling administrative tasks with finding time for instructional leadership. I knew both sides of the job were critically important to the success of my school and both placed large demands on my time. I was often left having to, in the words of Kim Marshall “attend to the urgent at the expense of the important.” And, often I fell short.
Part of running a successful school, I learned, required enlisting leaders at all levels of the district. Slowly, and with lots of help from my amazing staff, I learned how to build a culture of trust that created the conditions and expectation that our staff (and students!) could take ownership for many facets of our daily operations. This allowed me to shift how I spent my time and gave me the time I needed to support educators to do their best work.
We’ve known for a long time that school leadership matters. After educators, effective principals have a significant impact on student achievement. Helping central office supervisors to create the conditions that lead schools to new levels of student achievement can only happen with an intentional focus on leadership, and because district leaders have been given training, support, and experiences that deepen their knowledge and skills. I’m excited to see this work take shape.
Photo: Official release of the Distinguished Leaders
Council report and recommendations,
September 17, 2014.
This past summer I received a phone call from a student at a Portland Metro Area high school who was a reporter for her school newspaper and was on assignment to seek out “expert” opinion why teachers leave certain schools but not others. The reporter’s school (which I was familiar with) was losing eight faculty members (from a staff of about 65) and among those moving on were several of the school’s more effective and popular teachers. The reporter seemed personally hurt by this teacher exodus and when I replied to her questions, I attempted to discuss the possible reasons for their departure while avoiding a painful reality: her school is simply not where teachers want to stay.
That effective teachers appear to be in short supply in many schools was the subject of a California court decision in early June. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down several California education statutes revolving around teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority as part of his ruling in Vergara vs. California. Vergara was seen in some circles as a major victory for school advocates, particularly those who feel that union rules stand in the way of meaningful change in education. United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan lauded the judgment, noting it was a “mandate to fix…problems” that stemmed from “laws, practices, and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students.” On the heels of the verdict, Duncan announced his “Effective Educators for All” initiative. In his estimation, freeing school districts from the bonds of union-driven tenure laws was one step toward putting the best teachers into the neediest schools.
While I believe in the spirit of the initiative—and agree that the neediest schools need the best teachers—neither it nor the Vergara decision will lead to any substantive change.
Why? Because Secretary Duncan’s solutions address none of the root causes for why the neediest schools lack effective teachers. While some analysis of the initiative seems to indicate that Secretary Duncan is at least aware of the need for equitable (read: more) pay for teachers in needy schools, he makes no effort to address other factors that steer teachers away from disadvantaged schools, such as high student-teacher ratios, demanding and often hostile conditions, poor classroom environments, and lack of parent and community support. And, since the only real money that the Department of Education will commit to the project is a paltry $4.2 million (which is less than $100k per state) for a “technical assistance network,” I am unconvinced Secretary Duncan will be able to help the states rectify the one area he even does address.
All of this leaves teachers in a position where they are effectively “guilted” for choosing to work in schools and communities that are more supportive of teaching and which provide a more pleasant working environment. Because teaching is a “vocational profession,” there exists a perception that teachers should ignore market and social realities and sacrifice where necessary for the good of the whole, even if that means shunning raises and staying in poor schools with even poorer working conditions. To leave is to “abandon” the neediest students and to risk a moral judgment by others. Whereas a pilots union is celebrated for standing up to an “unjust” airline, a teachers union is maligned for doing the same to a district or state. The individual teacher is put into an unwinnable position as a result.
Until school environments are given greater support so that teaching loads are reasonable (a high school English teacher shouldn’t be expected to teach five classes of 35+ students daily), buildings are maintained, and communities support teachers’ efforts, good teachers are going to continually seek out environments that maximize their effectiveness and offer them the healthiest opportunities for their professional and personal lives. To ask them to do anything differently is absurd. It’s simply not fair to expect a teacher to make decisions that aren’t predicated a fuller range of factors than their monetary compensation when we encourage numerous other professionals to do so.
When I was talking to the student reporter what I really wanted to tell her was that community and district had failed her and her school, and that’s why the teachers were leaving. Her community, and the school district in particular, need to do a better job creating school environments that makes it more attractive for the great teachers to stay. To be fair, the power to create that environment is likely not within the community or even the district’s power.
To blame them for picking a better working environment is to miss the much larger realities truly at work.
Special thanks to University of Portland Professor Eric Ancti, who contributed to this post.
I am not a great traveler. I love to do it, but I’m not great at it, whether it’s for work or for play. First, I never know what to pack. Second, I can’t imagine how my husband and three girls will manage without me. Finally, I never know if it will be worth the effort. On August 14 and 15, I overcame these personal hurdles and attended a briefing about the evolving role of state education agencies.
The briefing, The state as the unit of change: Building capacity to impact learners, was held by Grantmakers for Education in Denver, Colorado, and asked funders to ponder whether state education agencies could act as primary change agents and innovators; or whether public-private partnerships are the driving force behind innovation and change at the state level.
There are many examples of public-private partnerships in education, though they have traditionally and most often had to do with leveraging community stakeholders as a part of the educational resources available to schools. The breadth and pace of the various state-level education reform initiatives seem to suggest that public-private partnerships are critical to supporting state education agencies and their ability to drive innovation, build capacity, and support stakeholder collaboration.
In Colorado, for example, the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) has created a strong private-public partnership with the Colorado Department of Education. The commissioner of education, who sits on the board, has said, “What CEI has been able to do for Colorado is to bring things to fruition so fast, in a way the Colorado Department of Education alone would never be able to do.
Here in Oregon, we frequently see these types of partnerships when we talk about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, and many kids in our area reap the benefits of a close proximity to Intel. And Chalkboard Project has had a longstanding private-public relationship with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), working on issues such as teaching effectiveness, educator evaluation systems, and more recently, on improving school leadership.
Some believe a minimal state education department is ideal: identify those functions that only a state agency can do and hand everything else to outside organizations. Others believe that state agencies have handed over too much to outside organizations, creating negative impact on the quality of education. What do you think? And, where would you suggest Chalkboard be on that spectrum?
At Chalkboard, we see our role and value in helping to create statewide, systemic reform by (1) providing independent research as the basis for reforms; (2) partnering with educators and experts to design and implement pilot programs and advocate for transformation; and, (3) serving as an independent voice to citizens, educational stakeholders, and decision makers. We’ve also seen the Oregon Department of Education work toward becoming a more nimble and efficient agency—one that is shifting its focus from compliance to one of support and service. We applaud and support these efforts. But we strongly believe that the department cannot move the needle fast enough on all the complex education issues without the funding, innovation, and resources that private partnerships offer.
Back in the conference room in downtown Denver, the room full of funders—some big ones with names you can guess and some very small ones with names I can’t remember —honed in on the need to support organizations like CEI and Chalkboard as the best way of ensuring a return on their investment in the education arena. Without organizations that can come alongside state education agencies and act as both a critical friend and as a catalyst for change, the success of many of their other investments is left in doubt. For sure, states that shy away from public-private partnerships will likely fall behind in transforming crucial areas such as education.
You’ll be happy to know that my packing job turned out to be just right, my family survived (I could say thrived but I’m choosing not to), and participating in a thought-provoking conversation about the evolving role of state education agencies was more than worth it!
In the spring of 2012, I worked with Chalkboard Project to form the Distinguished Educators Council (DEC). Chalkboard’s idea was to convene a team of educators recognized for their teaching excellence. The goal was to bring them together at meetings to discuss current issues important to teachers, and engage them in amplifying teachers’ voices in Oregon’s education policy-making arena.
Thirty-four distinguished teachers applied to be part of the new council, and after a thorough and thoughtful review process thirteen were invited to join. Through my role as an advisor and facilitator, I maintained that Chalkboard was asking the DEC for one important thing—ideas to support and strengthen teaching in Oregon.
After five months of reading and discussion, the council adopted five research-based recommendations to help teachers. The recommendations centered on teacher preparation, evaluation, professional learning, leadership opportunities, and supporting all students. The council’s full report is on Chalkboard’s website.
From fall of 2012 to spring of 2013, the council shared their ideas with policy-making bodies, which included the State Board of Education, the Oregon Education Investment Board, and the Oregon Legislature. And, the council was thrilled to see the legislature form the Network for Quality Teaching and Learning, a new OEIB-initiative that reflects the council’s recommendations.
The council spent last summer discussing over 50 concrete ideas for making their five core recommendations realities, and narrowed those ideas to two areas of focus – support for cooperating teachers working with new teacher candidates, and providing teachers time for collaboration and professional learning. Since then, the council has been researching and considering these topics in depth, and they are excited to advocate specific ideas to policy-makers in the coming months.
When the council first convened I wondered if these teachers trusted the sincerity of Chalkboard’s charge, to generate ideas to support and strengthen teaching in Oregon, and were they assured that Chalkboard was not simply looking for a rubber-stamp of its own agenda? Yet in the fall of 2012, I read comments from the DEC council about their participation that expressed how invigorated and empowered they were by this work, and several called it the most meaningful professional development experience of their careers.
Which brings us to the present. I’m excited to continue to work with the Distinguished Educators Council and engage teachers directly in Oregon’s education policy-making process. And I am excited to announce that Chalkboard Project is now accepting applications from teachers to join the Distinguished Educators Council. You can find details and an application form at this website.
It seems like the topic of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is central to many of my recent conversations. We all seem to share the same objective–to figure out what is best for our kids and educators in Oregon. Yet there’s so much confusion and conflicting information out there that sometimes it prevents us from even entering into the conversation.
During one of my conversations with a fellow parent about the “Common Core”, it dawned on me that while I was talking about what the Common Core State Standards would mean for our kids’ classrooms, she was talking about the Smarter Balanced state assessment (SBAC). In many of the conversations that are happening right now it’s not easy to differentiate which of the three new components that are being grouped as “Common Core”–the actual standards, the potential for new curriculum materials for classrooms, or the new state assessment that will be used to measure student achievement towards the new standards.
It seems like since I’ve had this realization it’s been easier to have meaningful conversations with friends and colleagues because we first decide what we’re talking about—the standards, the curriculum, or the assessment—they are not all Common Core, but pieces of a new system. Each of these three pieces has their own implementation needs, challenges and even successes that need to be supported, overcome or celebrated. Our discussions need to differentiate between the three components clearly, or I fear decisions will be made holistically and one or two very important parts will be left misunderstood.
Simply put the CCSS are statements of what students should know in math and English/language arts at each grade level to be college or career ready; “curriculum” are the resources and tools (like textbooks and teaching materials) educators will use to help students reach the standards; and the SBAC will help us determine if our curriculum aligns to our standards.
When emotions are running high, you may find it easier to frame discussions by narrowing the focus. Many resources are available online that describe each of these three facets of Common Core. For example, can you explain why and how the standards in education have shifted to focus on colleague and career readiness?
If the conversation shifts to a “federally-mandated curriculum” can you speak to how this is not the case in Oregon and that curricular decisions are still made by individual school districts? Or, can you share your thoughts on why various organizations are advocating for a delay on the use of SBAC until educators can get the support they need to implement the new standards in their classrooms? (Especially if those new assessments are tied to an educator’s or school’s evaluation?)
We need to have a serious conversation in Oregon about how to best make this shift and what our priorities for kids and educators are, but first we need to make sure we are having the right conversation.
For more information
The Aspen Institute
Oregon Common Core Standards Website
Introduction The U.S. Department of Education, using four year adjusted cohort rates, reported Oregon was forty-ninth in high school graduation rankings for the 2011-2012 year. While alarming, the resulting discussion over how the rankings are formulated and what these figures measure within each state is an intriguing one. This blog post presents a perspective on this rating process.
President of ECONorthwest John Tapogna specializes in education, social, and fiscal policy.
He has directed evaluations of dropout prevention programs, the impacts of small class sizes, and the efficacy of small schools. Prior to joining ECONorthwest, John was an analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. He holds degrees from the University of Oregon and Harvard University’s School of Government.
Oregon’s 68 percent high school graduation rate has been the subject of considerable debate. But, relative to other states, does Oregon really deserve its bottom tier status? Probably not.
On-time, cohort graduation rates are a new measure. To illustrate this, we dug into the graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year. Oregon’s near the bottom of the pack. Then we looked four years earlier—spring 2007—at the performance of Oregon eighth graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics exam. These are largely the same kids—just earlier in their educational careers.
Seventy-three percent of Oregon eighth graders met the NAEP standard for basic math proficiency in 2007. That was middle of pack—twenty-fourth in the US. Four years later, 68 percent of the cohort graduated on time.
Connecticut and Maryland students performed similarly on the 2007 NAEP—73 and 74 percent at basic math proficiency, respectively. Yet, both states registered 83 percent on-time graduation rates in 2011—15 percentage points higher than Oregon.
So, what’s going on?
One interpretation is that Oregon’s high schools are a disaster—dropout factories—while Maryland and Connecticut’s are over-performers.
But that’s unlikely the case. Two factors are more likely.
First, Oregon is holding itself to a tighter standard and doesn’t count diplomas that other states include (e.g., modified diplomas to students with special needs).
Second, the growing popularity of five-year high schools, which blend community college work into the final years, is probably depressing Oregon’s rate. To date, federal statistics haven’t looked at graduates who take extra time.
Interstate comparisons of newly devised high school graduation rate figures are misleading. In recent years, they have overstated the Oregon K-12 challenge. Were one to devise and implement a common national standard for high school graduation, I suspect you’d find Oregon right in the middle the pack. That said, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Oregonian article, “Oregon graduation rate barely budges…”, Feb. 6, 2014
My great nephew recently announced to his parents his intent to finish college and get his teaching license to teach science at the high school level and coach soccer. His father, a business major, tried to dissuade him, not because teaching is not an honorable and noble profession, but because spending the money on a master’s degree, teaching license, and the debt that his son might incur in the process and the entry level salary and increases he would make did not make good economic sense.
One of the major challenges faced in teacher preparation program reform work today is attracting and recruiting bright, young, talented students to careers in teaching.
A new report released recently from The New Teacher Project (TNTP) sheds light on the problems with an inflexible archaic pay structure built solely on degrees and years of experience. It clearly illustrates the inherent problems with the pay structure used in more than 90 percent of our school districts in the U.S. today.
Some people say that pay is not important for teachers, yet in a survey of 11,000 teachers in three of the nation’s largest school districts, two thirds of the respondents indicate that they would choose to teach in schools offering either a base salary increase, or bonuses to the top performing teachers over a school with a traditional pay system, all else being equal.
There are numerous districts in the U.S. that are working with new pay structures and are gaining ground in dealing with the aforementioned problems. Their work serves as a model for the rest of the country. While pay is only one piece of the solution, it is a big piece and one that we can tackle.
- Moving to a new structure is a process and not an event; it will take time and teacher input.
- The use of performance pay increases will require strong teacher evaluation systems that are consistently implemented, clearly communicated to teachers, and generally understood by all involved.
- School leaders will need to be trained in the use of the evaluation system with observation skills and tools in order to avoid inflated ratings.
- Teachers will need a clearly articulated way to address any concerns with their evaluations.
- Strong differentiated and relevant professional development will need to be available for teachers to feel supported in improving their teaching.
Shortchanged: The Hidden Costs of Lockstep Teacher Pay (2014)
The Irreplaceables:Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools (2012)
Closing the talent gap: Attracting and retaining top third graduates to a career in teaching (2010)
White Rhino Blog on Why I discourage Latino students from becoming teachers