Increasingly diverse student populations and accountability demands are two of the most critical and defining challenges for K-12 public schools in the 21st century. Meeting the needs of culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse (CLED) students is not a contemporary issue. Educational institutions have recognized, to varying degrees, the inequities in education for this population as far back as the Civil Rights Era (Gorski, 1999). In recent years, however, the rapid growth of minority and immigrant populations in public schools in combination with accountability-era transparency has intensified the pressure on schools to eradicate educational disparities for diverse student populations. This paper examines the change over the past two decades in the rhetoric and research regarding how teacher preparation programs, schools, and classroom teachers should foster culturally responsive practices. The author highlights encouraging approaches for teacher preparation programs and school systems to use in planning to meet the needs of all students.

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