More black men in Florida classrooms
Five Florida community colleges and three Florida universities are partnering with an out-of-state program to boost the number of black men teaching in Florida. Twenty-five recruits for Call Me MISTER, based at Clemson University, will get started in January.
Joe Pickens, the outgoing chair of the House Schools & Learning Council, helped secure $300,000 for the program. He's now president of St. Johns River Community College, which is one of the participating schools.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity to bring this program to Florida," Pickens, a former school board attorney, said in a press release. "I know first hand that we don’t have enough black male teachers to be role models for a significant segment of our student population."
Less than 1 percent of Florida's elementary teachers are black men. For more on the issue, see this St. Petersburg Times story.
Ron Matus, state education reporter
(Times file photo, 2005)