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    Charter schools look to address staff diversity

    Boston charter schools, sometimes criticized for having staffs and student populations less diverse than the communities they serve, are collaborating with an education nonprofit to cultivate a diverse group of future teachers.

    Several of the city’s charters partnered this summer with Generation Teach to give 31 college and high school students — three-quarters of them black or Hispanic — seven weeks of teacher training and classroom experience.

    Teacher diversity is crucial to a quality education, said Laura Zahn, chief executive for Generation Teach.


    “If we’re disproportionately representing one race in our teaching pools, we don’t have all the best people,” she said, “because we don’t have the strongest African-American and Latino educators. . . . If our commitment is to excellence, then we need to find the excellence that’s in every group.”

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    A Globe review of state data for 50 independent charter schools found an average of 5.7 percent black and 7.5 percent Hispanic teachers.

    That’s about double and triple, respectively, the state averages of 2.7 percent black and 2.6 percent Hispanic for all public schools.

    Some charters were among the state’s most diverse schools, with up to 38.4 percent black and 41.5 percent Hispanic teachers.

    In Boston’s district schools, 22.7 percent of teachers are black and 10.9 percent are Hispanic, according to the state data.


    Jon Clark, codirector at Edward W. Brooke Charter School in Boston, helped organize the Generation Teach collaboration.

    “At Brooke, 95 percent of our students are black and Latino, and we realize that we haven’t done a good enough job of trying to get our alums to think about teaching,” Clark said. “We need to have a teaching force that better looks like our student population.”

    Across its three campuses, the Brooke Schools — named for the first black US senator elected by popular vote — have about 9.7 percent black and 3.7 percent Hispanic teachers, state data show.


    Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at