Xavier University has announced a new program, designed to get more local teachers and teachers of color into charter schools.
The Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency is the first-ever such partnership between charter operators and a historically black university.
Renee Akbar is Chair of the Division of Education and Counseling at Xavier. “Research is finding that children perform better when they have teachers in front of them that know about their history, that know about their culture, that look like them,” she says. “And we want to put those kind of teachers back into the classrooms here in New Orleans.”
Since Hurricane Katrina, the number of black public school teachers fell by about 40%, due in part to mass layoffs after the storm.
The new master’s program will place 25 Xavier students in schools from five participating charter networks. Residents teach while completing coursework. The program is funded by New Schools for New Orleans.