A national effort to recruit, prepare, and retain Black educators through teacher residencies.

Cynthia Fitz-Wilson is a teacher resident at the Dallas Teacher Residency. She is pictured with her mentor teacher, Chaslyn Reynolds. This picture was taken at Ben Milam Elementary School.

NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative is a response to an urgent and pressing challenge:

Black students who have just one Black teacher in elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and consider going to college, yet just 7 percent of public school teachers are Black. As the nation’s students become more diverse, teacher residencies are best able to prepare the next generation of teachers.

Roxy Nance is a teacher resident at the Chicago Public Schools Teacher Residency. This photo was taken at King Elementary School.

NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative will improve student outcomes by increasing student access to effective, Black teachers.


NCTR launched the initiative in September 2019 after receiving a five-year, $20-million grant from the Ballmer Group to recruit, develop, and retain 750 new Black teachers through our national Network of teacher residency partners.

This funding allows NCTR to invest in teacher residency programs that are improving diversity through new and innovative strategies.

This collective learning informs new research and support for all of NCTR’s Network members, and it helps the teacher preparation field better understand how to prepare a diverse and effective teacher workforce.

NCTR is excited to announce our Year 5 cohort of the Black Educators Initiative.


In grant funds have been awarded to 30 teacher residencies for the 2023-2024 academic year


Black teacher residents will be prepared through teacher residencies in NCTR’s Network during the fifth year of the initiative


New teacher residencies have joined Year 5 cohort for the 2023-2024 academic year
Meet the 2023-2024 Grantees

BEI Investments At a Glance

  • Scholarships, stipends, and other incentive funds to support Black residents’ full participation in essential clinical experiences.
  • Partnerships with organizations like the Black Teacher Project to provide consulting and training for mentors of Black residents.
  • Increased induction support, including job search assistance, alumni networks, and professional development for graduates.
  • Memberships to professional development and networking organizations.
  • Increased mentor stipends to attract experienced, effective teachers as mentors of Black residents.
  • Mental health and social-emotional learning supports, including contracting with Black therapists.

Igniting Change: 2021-2022 BEI Annual Report

The 2021-2022 BEI Annual Report shares the work of Year 3 BEI grantees and how NCTR supports them. All BEI grantees apply similar strategies to support the preparation of Black teacher candidates, and over time, NCTR and its research partners have been able to identify the strategies that are yielding the most promising results.

This report shows the impact of Year 3’s BEI grantees toward igniting change to better support Black educators.

Download the 2021-2022 Report

Doing Better for Black Educators

Black educators contribute significantly to the achievement of all students. However, there aren’t enough of them. One approach that appears to be solving this problem on a small scale is teacher residencies, which are community-based clinical preparation programs developed in partnership with school districts and anchored in their context. Teacher residencies are raising the bar for quality while reducing barriers to entry for teachers of color and other underrepresented groups.

Download the Report

Recruitment and Retention of Black Educators

The Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University evaluated the early impact of NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative, solidifying the growth of BEI-supported teacher residency programs in Year 2. The CPRL-developed report, titled “Recruitment and Retention of Black Educators: Promising Strategies at Eight U.S. Teacher Residencies,” examines data from the programs, such as enrollment and demographics, as well as data from 16 focus groups of Black teacher residents receiving direct support from NCTR’s BEI and conducted 23 interviews with program staff and stakeholders at BEI programs to identify leading indicators of effectiveness.

The eight teacher residency programs that took part in the evaluation are located in the West, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast portions of the United States. Pseudonyms have been used in place of participant and residency names to protect the identity of the participants.

Read the Report Summary
Download the Full Recruitment and Retention Report

View Our Annual Reports

Read about the growth and impact of teacher residency programs supported by NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative in our annual reports.

Download our Annual Reports

Learn about NCTR’s Network

NCTR convenes Network members to collaborate, exchange best practices, and share data to improve their programs and influence teacher preparation.

Discover NCTR's Network