Giving Compass' Take:

• An analysis of the Texas Education Agency data on promotions for almost 4,700 assistant principals in the state from 2001 to 2017 found both racial and gender gaps in principle hiring practices. 

• The study emphasizes the need for ongoing conversation and action around diversifying education leaders. Why is this critical for student learning? 

• Read about the role of black teachers in communities. 

Black and female assistant principals are less likely than their white and male counterparts to be promoted to principal. And when they are, it takes longer, according to a study published Monday.  Analyzing Texas Education Agency data on promotions for almost 4,700 assistant principals in the state from 2001 to 2017, Lauren Bailes at the University of Delaware and Sarah Guthery at Texas A&M University–Commerce found equally qualified black assistant principals were 18% percent less likely to be promoted than white candidates. In addition, when they did become principal, it took 5.27 years, compared to 4.67 for white candidates.

The findings add to the ongoing discussion over how to diversify the education field as the nation’s student population becomes less white. Multiple studies have also shown benefits for students of color when they attend schools with educators of the same race. For example, earlier research found schools with more black teachers or a black principal have greater numbers of black students in gifted programs.

“Even though more diversity in the teacher and principal workforce has been shown to improve teacher retention and student outcomes, our findings indicate that there are still systematic race- and gender-based inequities within the profession,” Guthery, an assistant professor of education, said in a comment. “This is despite a teacher corps that is overwhelmingly female and becoming more racially diverse.”

One interesting finding was even if a female educator worked as an assistant principal in a high school for a longer time than a male counterpart, she was still more likely to become a principal at an elementary school than at a high school.

The authors suggest superintendents are responsible for identifying inequities and increasing efforts to address them. “

Read the full article about principle hiring practices by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.