Dr. Roland V. Anglin, Dean and Professor at the Levin College of Public Affairs and Education at Cleveland State University was featured as a guest columnist on April 23, 2023, in a column titled “‘Grow Your Own Teacher’ programs can help diversify the teaching ranks.”
In his editorial, Dean Anglin highlights how “Grow Your Own Teacher” (GYO) programs address the shortage of qualified teachers by recruiting and training community residents to become licensed teachers. Under GYO programs, school districts often partner with community-based organizations and universities to recruit, mentor, and train aspirants. According to Dean Anglin, “These programs look and feel like a community building strategy, as opposed to a teacher pipeline strategy. GYO initiatives are not new, but their acceptance into the mainstream presents an intriguing opportunity to more closely link education policy to neighborhood revitalization.”
Dean Anglin also points out that during the 2019–2020 school year, 90% of Ohio teachers were white, while only 56% of Ohio students were white. He also cites research that indicates students who have teachers from similar backgrounds are more likely to achieve academic success and are less likely to drop out of school.
According to Dean Anglin, “Well-implemented GYO programs encourage increased teacher diversity and retention rates; teachers from the community are more likely to stay in the community. GYO programs also encourage social and economic stability through role models who earn a family-sustaining wage and live in the community. The challenges of implementing GYO programs often include sustaining funding and ensuring high-quality training and support at the community level, so strong intermediary coordinating and training entities are critical.”