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Teach For America Washington
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A New School Year, New Corps, And New Advisory Board To Fuel The Movement For Education Equity In Washington State

TFA Washington Executive Director, Tony Byrd shares why the region will be starting off the best school year yet.

By Tony Byrd

October 25, 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some exciting news about the 2017 school year and our ability to advance educational equity in Washington state.

Last month Teach For America Washington welcomed a new advisory board of top local leaders who will guide our work to recruit the most promising and diverse teacher-leaders from across the country and mobilize our nearly 1,000 local alumni to fight for equity inside and outside of classrooms.

The board is comprised of eight individuals who currently work in the diverse sectors of law, business, education, and philanthropy. Together they represent over 100 years of leadership experience. Our chairperson is Bree Dusseault, the executive director of Green Dot Public Schools in Washington State. Bree has been an educational leader for over 15 years. She is an avid supporter of high quality leading and teaching for ALL students and is widely respected across the state.

This month Teach For America also announced its corps size and demographics for this fall. We have 3,500 extraordinary new members stepping up to lead classrooms for the first time. As our CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard said, “They are student-body presidents. They are Division 1 athletes. They are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are award-winning artists and scholars and innovators.”

For the fourth year consecutive year, at least one-third of the corps identifies as first-generation college graduates and half as people of color. This holds true in Washington as well, where we continue to be one of the most significant contributors of teachers who reflect the diverse, lived experiences of their students.

This year, we are supporting our most diverse corps to date in Washington.

  • 50+ Teachers
  • 57% From or went to college in Washington
  • 49% From a low-income background
  • 43% People of color (compared to 10% of teachers and 44% of students statewide)
  • 30% First-generation college graduates
  • 65% Elementary school teachers
  • 83% Traditional public school teachers

I am eternally grateful for the expertise provided by our new advisory board and inspired by the leadership of our corps members. I encourage you to reach out if you would like to learn more about how to support our collaborative movement for educational equity.