Fewer than 1 percent of doctorates in math are awarded to African-Americans. Edray Goins, who earned one of them, found the upper reaches of the math world a challenging place.
While there are more teachers of color in public schools today than at the turn of the century, they remain overwhelmingly clustered in schools with the highest concentration of minority students.
As part of a new longitudinal analysis of minority students' achievement in public schools, the National Center for Education Statistics and the American Institutes of Research looked at how and where the teaching force has diversified across the country.
Programs aimed at cultivating high school students interested in making teaching a career are undergoing a significant expansion in New York City, in the city’s latest effort to diversify its teaching force.
The city is set to go from five teaching-themed high schools two years ago to 25 schools with courses or clubs meant to set students on a path to heading their own classrooms.
Teachers of color are under-represented in public schools across America, yet research over decades has indicated their positive impact on students. A first-of-its-kind research handbook, set to be published in 2020, will address key issues and obstacles to ethnic and racial diversity in the teaching ranks such as recruitment and retention, professional development and the role of minority-serving institutions.
This month in Philadelphia, a historic gathering of black male educators and allies, took place to call for a revolutionary change in public education. The lack of Black male educators in our school systems has reached significant lows, with a growing population of students of color, taught by an increasingly white female teacher workforce.
Colleges and universities should be much more aggressive in recruiting and preparing Black males to become school teachers. That was one of the many sentiments expressed on Thursday among scholars and practitioners who gathered at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Dublin.
The number of Black males in the U.S. teacher workforce continues to hover at about 2 percent – a dismal number — that former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tried to tackle back in March 2012 when he launched a national initiative aimed at recruiting and training 80,000 new teachers.
Matthew Kay first learned to tell stories as a child growing up in Germantown, by creating them with his mom.
“We’d see an old woman walking a dog and she’d be like, ‘What’s her story?’ And I’d be like, ‘Well, that’s the dog’s grandmother,’ ” Kay said.
Today, Kay, a 34-year-old English teacher at the Science Leadership Academy, a magnet high school in Center City, helps Philly teens learn to tell their own stories through Philly Slam League, a slam poetry league he founded eight years ago that draws an average of 300 students a week from 22 schools across the city.
“Don’t come back here like I did,” a middle school teacher once told me. “Go out and do something special.”
That educator was sending the signal to an impressionable kid that teaching is a stale gig, not a higher calling. It’s a shame because America needs more teachers, and young people will be needed to fill an increasing number of open positions, particularly in districts serving minority and low-income students.
Our nation has a problem with recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, particularly teachers of color. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, while students of color make up 40 percent of the school-age population, just 17 percent of the nation’s teaching force is made up of teachers of color. What’s more, California has the nation’s largest percentage-point difference between teachers of color and students of color: While 75 percent of students in California are nonwhite, only about 35 percent of teachers are nonwhite, leaving a gap of 40 percentage points.
At Ed Trust, we want to continue the conversation about recruiting and retaining excellent teachers of color. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the student population will be 56 percent students of color by the year 2024. And yet, the majority of teachers still remains vastly White — 82 percent. And that number has hardly budged in decades.