As reported recently in The Christian Science Monitor, almost half the children in the Portland, Maine, school district are students of color, and more than a quarter are multilingual. But their teachers are 97 percent white and speak English at home. Fewer Americans are deciding to become school teachers, and even though many immigrants are highly educated, they are rarely qualified for professional jobs. So Maine found a solution where everyone wins.

                                                                                        Noble Ingram/Christian Science Monitor
Take Francois Agwala of the Congo and Raquel Molina Fernandez, shown here. Francois was a school principal in his native land, and Raquel taught for a decade in Spain. They're part of a group of foreign-born teachers in a new Maine program designed to prepare and certify them to teach in the state. The scheme also combats "brain waste," when skills of immigrants are not transferred to their new homelands. Similar programs are already in place in Chicago, and Portland, Oregon.