Governor Chet Culver signed a bill into law today that seeks to get more minorities to become teachers in Iowa.
The bill requires the Department of Education to work with other education groups, including community colleges and the state supported universities, to study ways to encourage minorities to become teachers and eventually continue as administrators.
State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, a Democrat from Des Moines, supported the bill after concerns were raised in the Des Moines district.
Abdul-Samad says when the new superintendent took over, she was trying to find minorities to go into administrative positions, and they couldn’t find them. He says there were minorities, but the laws in the state meant those individuals weren’t qualified and didn’t get the classes they needed to move into administrative positions.
Abdul-Samad says this change will help bring in more minorities to teach and move up into administration. He says it’s not just a problem in Des Moines, it’s a problem with the whole state, with Latinos, Bosnians, Sudanese. “We need to reach out to minorities to bring them in…to be in positions to be administrators so children can see that they can have the opportunity to make the same steps,” Abdul-Samad says.
The education group was given three specific issues to examine: strategies to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to enter the teaching profession; methods to recruit these racial and ethnic minority students into attending an Iowa college or university teacher preparatory program, and strategies to recruit racial and ethnic minority teachers to continue their careers as school administrators in Iowa Governor Culver signed the bill at a Des Moines elementary school.