Diversity lacking among teachers in the U.S.

It becomes easier for students to believe “when they can look and see someone who looks just like them, that they can relate to”
Associated Press
May 6, 2014
U.S. teachers are nowhere near as diverse as their students.

Almost half the students attending public schools are minorities, yet fewer than 1 in 5 of their teachers is nonwhite.

New studies from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association are calling attention to this “diversity gap” at elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The groups want more to be done to help teachers more accurately mirror the students in their classrooms.

Teachers are always pushing their students to excel, said Kevin Gilbert, coordinator of teacher leadership and special projects for the Clinton Public School District in Clinton, Mississippi.

It becomes easier for students to believe “when they can look and see someone who looks just like them, that they can relate to” said Gilbert, a member of the NEA’s executive committee. “Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them”

More than minority students would benefit from a more diverse teacher corps, said Ulrich Boser, the author of the center’s report.

“Even in a place like North Dakota, where the students aren’t particularly diverse relative to the rest of the country, it’s important for our social fabric, for our sense as a nation, that students are engaging with people who think, talk and act differently than them but can also be just as effective at raising student achievement in the classroom” he said.

There were about 3.3 million teachers in American public elementary and secondary schools in 2012, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics. It said 82 percent were white, 8 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were black and about 2 percent were Asian.

Students are a different story. In 1993, minority students made up 31 percent of the public school population; it was 41 percent in 2003.

The Center for American Progress’ most recent statistics show 48 percent of the students in public schools are nonwhite — 23 percent Hispanic, 16 percent black and 5 percent Asian — and that percentage is expected to continue to increase.

“We project that this fall, for the first time in American history, the majority of public school students in America will be nonwhite,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said last week.

Hispanics have passed blacks as the largest minority group of teachers, just as there are more Hispanic students than African-Americans in the public school system.

Comments

rbenn

OMG more liberal hogwash. Whats next when they get a job the boss will have to be a minority like themselves? This crap is getting way out of hand. We are all different get the hell over it.

MiddleRight

Proof this is race baiting. From the story itself:

It becomes easier for students to believe “when they can look and see someone who looks just like them, that they can relate to” said Gilbert, a member of the NEA’s executive committee. “Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them”

More than minority students would benefit from a more diverse teacher corps, said Ulrich Boser, the author of the center’s report.

“Even in a place like North Dakota, where the students aren’t particularly diverse relative to the rest of the country, it’s important for our social fabric, for our sense as a nation, that students are engaging with people who think, talk and act differently than them but can also be just as effective at raising student achievement in the classroom” he said.

So, in black schools, black students would learn more with black teachers, but in white schools, they need to have diversity.
How is this not extremely racist?
And they only think that this is true if you ara a non-religious liberal who thinks global warming is going to kill us all - "important for our social fabric, for our sense as a nation, that students are engaging with people who think, talk and act differently than them"

vcreed123

This is the most ignorant story I've ever read....

grumpy

I blame the teachers union and the NEA. Not only are they racist, they are also sexist.

The Big Dog's back

Good grief, don't you ever get tired of blaming unions and the NEA for all the problems the rich have caused?

There you go again

No.

MiddleRight

How is this a Rich caused problem?

Do you want teachers that have 10th grade educations? Can't read? Flunked out of college?

I don't see alot of unemployed minority teachers. Show me that a disproportionate number of unemployed educators are minorities and you have a story.

You can make people want to do something. Fewer women go into the science fields. Fewer men go into teaching. Fewer minorities are teachers. What's the point? This is more of an observation than a story.

The Big Dog's back

Opportunity is the point.

doppleganger

Hard work is the point. No one should have their degree given to them because of their color. Work hard and you will achieve.

deertracker

Including whites!

arnmcrmn

Whites are getting degrees because of their color? How niave can one be? Can you stop playing the race card for one second and stop feeling sorry for your race?

grumpy

Re:" for all the problems the rich have caused?

Care to explain what the rich (like multi-millionaires Pelosi, Reed, and all the Kennedy's) have done to cause problems in the PUBLIC elementary and secondary schools? Did the rich paying taxes for public schools and sending their kids to private schools hurt the public schools in some way? If so what in what specific ways did that hurt the public schools?

grumpy

=

SamAdams

Forget qualified. Forget GOOD at the job! It's more important to keep up politically correct appearances than it is to educate our children apparently.

Want more minority teachers? I don't object to outreach, to showing minorities that teaching is a viable career option. What I DO object to is hiring a mediocre teacher simply because of his/her ethnicity followed, I don't doubt, by complaints that the minorities being taught by those "affirmative action" teachers aren't doing as well as white kids. Gosh, I can't imagine why not!

The Big Dog's back

sam, you would have to be blind if you don't think nepotism didn't/does play a major role in hiring practices.

Justme...

Before you start finger pointing, what percent of college graduates in a given year (ex. last year) with education degrees were minorities? Isn't that the key? Perhaps there are not enough minorities pursuing degrees in education?

vcreed123

That's exactly the problem, more minorities working towards degrees in education, more minority teachers. As for the opportunity big dog referred to, more opportunity cannot be offered to minorities to attend college as any can already go for free regardless of their grades. The problem starts at home with most of these kids not knowing their fathers and being more interested in being rappers or basketball players

Nemesis

How can that be, Dog? Public school administration is completely dominated by "right-thinking liberals" who invariably vote the same way you do. How could they possibly be engaging in such evil?

Donegan

Lets talk Nepotism for a minute here. "Clinton" You have Hillary (The girl who wasn't satisfying to her own husband but stuck by him long enough to get a decent job Clinton) And then you have Bill who is a god to single men everywhere as he can have a marriage and still be a predator to interns (Before you say it was consensual, How many did he have to pay off and repeat the dumb question you asked) The point is that Big Dogs namesake was a nepotist to the extreme and he is a hypocrite for even asking the question.

santown419

So just because their minority means they are affirmative action. No wonder you love Limbaugh and oreilly just like them for a minority can't make anything without it being given to them. I guess you like a lot of republicans believe if blacks were still slaves they would be better off since we can't make a living on our own. Guess it doesn't matter because when the republicans bring back Jim crow you will be all happy.

MiddleRight

So whom should teach children? the most qualified, or whomever we can get to fill a minority quota?

Donegan

If you ask Dog and Coaster it is whomever supports their party and Der Fuhrer.

SamAdams

I don't get the impression that people think "just because their [sic] minority means they are affirmative action." The point is that they SHOULDN'T be affirmative action! All that educating based on race and hiring based on race accomplishes is more discrimination. Education should be based on those who work at it and are capable of it; hiring should be based on those who are most qualified.

Continuing to admit students into colleges when they had a hard time finishing high school is bad; GRADUATING those students, and mandating a certain number of them be hired is worse. (Notice how I don't reference "minority" students here. ANY student who flunks out, and ANY applicant who's far less qualified than another, shouldn't be considered. Period.)

There you go again

The article could have read "Diversity lacking among workers at McDonald" or "Diversity lacking among Firemen". That is such an absurd remark/title. Please people, what happened to hiring the best qualified for the job?!?! Gees, everybody is riding the race wagon and it is more prevalent that 25 years ago.

downthemiddle

25 years.... isn't that about when the Clintons came to power?

First month.. gays in the military.

Then on the 50th day of the Clinton admin, they burned to death 50 some people to save the children who also perished.

Then came political correctness in everything.

deertracker

Why do you usual suspects have a problem with stats. No one is at fault necessarily. There could be lots of reasons minorities are less represented. It's an article. It's not race baiting, it's just stats. The article does make a lot of sense. Sometime minorities do relate better to their own race. Some learn better and are more motivated and inspired when they see first hand success is possible. Everything racial is not racist. It's sad some of you can't get that.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I think where this leaves a lot of people scratching their heads is the "so what?" aspect to this report. Either the writer purposely leaves it open or the report from those agencies is purposely vague. Either case is very upsetting that this was purposefully presented this way. What is the point in it all then?

Are we supposed to go back to segregated schools by race and/or gender in the year 2014 as indicated by a union and politically partisan organization? Is this a condemnation against teachers who despite their tens of thousands of dollars in Master's Degrees and other CEs are told by their own union they are ineffectual (or at worst uncaring) in their education of their students? Is this a knock against various races (including whites) that they are only capable of learning from someone like them?

This story did much more to address this aspect and also not provide a feeble excuse or a racial scapegoat as to performance numbers: http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

From that story is this resounding quote: "There is nothing more severe in contemporary America, particularly as it relates to youth of color, than the soft bigotry of low expectations," Emdin said.

By the by I know I am preaching to the choir here given your response. So don't take this as a challenge, I am just trying to explore this with you since we have good conversations.

But as I see it a teacher is taught to teach regardless of his/her own race or that of the students in the classroom. I would imagine that truly effective teachers don't need to rely on their race to convey their message and can instead engage with the student to present the ideas. When I was being taught sex ed it didn't matter to me that I had a male teacher talking about female anatomy. His being male didn't in any way make the lesson less credible or believable.

If this report points out anything it is, perhaps, that an unquantified number of students (who are probably an extremely minuscule sample) across all races are incapable of seeing past skin color or epicanthal fold. In that case perhaps those small number of kids can be addressed individually instead of an implied systemic change?

Sounds more like problems at home than with the schools.

Nemesis

"Why do you usual suspects have a problem with stats."

I don't think anyone has an issue with the statistics. They have an issue with the idea that gathering these statistics is a good use of resources. They have an issue with the interpretation of these statistics as a problem, and the implication that someone (i.e. government) must fix it.

Studies like this actually hurt educational achievement among minority students, because the implicit message to failing students "YOU are not learning, so WE must get you more teachers who look like you" which further absolves students of responsibility for their own success.

If a kid can't make the mental abstraction that a teacher who isn't their clone is just another fellow human, how are they ever going to grasp the abstractions necessary to study any subject above an eighth grade level?

coasterfan

In Ohio, you don't need to look any further than the Republican Party and Kasich in particular. The changes they have enacted are chasing the best teachers from the profession, and fewer top teaching candidates are entering the profession in the first place. When conservatives villianize teachers and teacher unions, can we blame quality educators for looking for another profession in which they are better paid and not disrespected?

downthemiddle

The teachers union, like ALL unions protects those who perform poorly.

It's easy to understand your love for unions.

Pages