Teacher Diversity Problem
by Alessandro on May 30, 2017 - 12:46pm
Major Teacher Diversity Problems in U.S. Schools
How is the diversification of teachers in your school? Well, according to a new report published by the Department of Education, public schools in the U.S. are facing a crisis regarding diversification. It is alleged that the number of African-American teachers is just a mere 2% percent of the educator workforce. This is not a good representation of these minorities and questions are bound to rise on the reasons behind the huge gap between the majority white and the minority black. Could it be an element of racial discrimination?
The article, “ Major Teacher Diversity Problem in U.S. Schools,” by Lauryn Camera, tries to highlight this issue in a deeper manner. Camera notes according to the data released from the report, the teaching work force in k-12 mainly comprises of white teachers who make up 82% of the total work force. The proportion of educator diversity has not changed since 1987-1988 school year. The number of color educators has only risen by 5%. Also, teachers of African-American heritage have reduced in considerable numbers. This trend is a major concern for the education policy makers as the majority of students in public schools are of color races.
The report stressed the need for having a diversity among the educators. First, it was noted that educator diversity ensured that students had a set of role models that are available to them. Secondly, the diversity played a role in watering down the various stereotypes that different students may have towards different races. Specifically, white students being taught by black teachers was stressed as a way of showcasing Black people in leadership. Lastly, the diversity is more likely to bridge the differences between the various races so that they may relate with each other well.
For the issue of diversity to be tackled, the report noted that there was the need to address the issue regarding the rate of post-graduation. Out of 43% of color students in high school, only 38% graduate with a Bachelor's degree. 25% enrol in teacher preparatory programmes. Surprisingly, out of the 25%, 42% are black. Colleges and universities historically described as for blacks do not play a significant role in enrollment of teacher preparatory programmes. Moreover, the report found out that other alternative paths for teacher certification like Teach for America enrol more students of diverse races than the traditional colleges and universities.
The government is trying to intervene on the same issue and in the budget for the fiscal year 2017, grants were made available to make teacher preparatory programmes easier to navigate. The districts will also get their share to ensure that they can attract and retain teachers of color.
Educator diversity is not an issue task because the teaching profession is labelled as less paying and demoralizing. Nevertheless, some schools like in Boston have almost an equal number of teachers from various races. For the success of this issue, everyone needs to get on board, but who are these stakeholders?
Lauren Camera. "Major Teacher Diversity Problems in U.S. Schools." U.S. NEWS. U.S. News & World Report, 06 May 2016. Web. 20 May 2017.