Giving Compass' Take:

· To address the racial disparities in the education field, The Hechinger Report suggests following in the NFL's footsteps and implementing the Rooney Rule during the hiring process.

· Why is it important to have a diverse set of educators in schools? How would introducing this rule influence the culture of racism and discrimination in education?

· Read this article about ending the silence concerning race in the education field.

We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” when it comes to hiring. Looking at the racial disparities among teachers, it’s apparent that black would-be teachers apparently don’t know many hiring managers. Teachers of color comprised about 20 percent of the public schools in the U.S. in 2017, according to data compiled by researchers at the centrist think tank the Brookings Institution (where I am a fellow). Meanwhile, students of color represented slightly more than half of all public school students in the same year.

A 2016 U.S. Department of Education demographic study of principals found that the vast majority of the people doing the hiring are white. While the percentage of white principals declined from 87 percent in 1987–88 to 80 percent in 2011–12, the percentage of black principals did not change significantly. The percentage of Hispanic principals increased by 4 percentage points from 3 to 7 percent, but white principals still account for the lion’s share of that population.

And if a vast proportion of the hiring managers are white, it’s likely that their social networks are predominantly white, too. Three-quarters of white Americans say they have social circles that are entirely white, as compared to 65 percent of African Americans and 46 percent of people who identified as Hispanic, according to a 2013 survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research. This has a profound professional impact when principals and school district leaders recruit from within their social circles, be it from a university or non-profit teacher prep program. This kind of hiring needs to be called out for what it really is — discrimination.

Read the full article about employees in education by Dr. Andre Perry at The Hechinger Report.