Addressing Educator Shortages – State Strategies and Resources from the U.S. Department of Education and Comprehensive Centers

Thursday February 2, 2023
3:45 - 4:45 PM
500 Ballroom

Many school systems have faced increasingly significant challenges in attracting and retaining teachers and preexisting teacher shortages in critical areas have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages have a direct impact on educational opportunity for students, and research shows that educator shortages disproportionately impact students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students from rural communities. The U.S. Department of Education has committed a significant set of actions and resources to support states, districts, and schools in attracting and retaining a teacher workforce that is racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse and well-prepared to ensure students have equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities. Join us to learn more about the latest efforts and resources from the U.S. Department of Education, including a showcase of examples from states working closely with the Regional Comprehensive Centers to develop long-term solutions to educator workforce shortages.

Dr. Saroja R. Warner

Dr. Saroja R. Warner is the Director for Educator Development and Diversity and provides strategic leadership for WestEd’s technical assistance, research and policy work with state education agencies, district leaders and school-based educators focused on developing and sustaining an effective, culturally responsive, and racially and linguistically diverse educator workforce and increasing educators’ and leaders’ use of policies and practices that promote successful and equitable learning outcomes for each student. She has also served as co-director of two Comprehensive Centers, federally funded education services centers, run by WestEd serving states in the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the U.S. She is a nationally recognized expert in educator workforce initiatives and culturally responsive teaching, leading and school cultures. Dr. Warner launched a national initiative at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) prior to coming to WestEd to increase educator diversity and culturally responsive practice (CRP) and authored an anchor paper for that work A Vision and Guidance for a Diverse and Learner-Ready Teacher Workforce which provides guidance to states to meet these goals and identifies model best practices. Prior to that, she has led educator workforce initiatives in her role as Branch Chief for Educator Preparation and Assessment at the Maryland State Department of Education, Director for Professional Issues at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and edTPA Implementation Director at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Warner is also a nationally board-certified social studies teacher and has maintained that status since 2004.

In-Person Lecture