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Giving Compass' Take:
• Illinois state struggles to increase and retain black and Latino educators and needs more support when it comes to teacher diversity.
• How can these districts address this issue? Additionally, how can districts increase the amount of training and mentorship programs for teachers?
• Read about the root cause of the teacher diversity problem.
Even though Illinois schools are increasingly diversifying, the state’s teaching ranks remain stubbornly white, according to new data from the Illinois Report Card.
Efforts to recruit a more diverse group of teachers haven’t moved the needle forward much in recent years. And in Chicago, the ranks of black teachers continues to decline, and the percentage of Latino teachers has only increased slightly. Still, when it comes to the diversity of the workforce, Chicago does better than the rest of the state, even though the percentages of black and Latino teachers don’t come close to matching the diversity of the district’s students.
Robert Muller, dean of the National College of Education at National Louis University, said that focusing on supporting diverse new teachers with mentoring and other supports early in their first few years on the job could address “leaks” in the teacher pipeline. Muller contends that keeping, not just hiring black teachers, is one of the district’s biggest diversity problems.
Statewide, 83 percent of all teachers are white, a decrease of only 2 percentage points in the past decade. Black and Hispanic teachers make up about 6 percent each, and Asian teachers 1.5 percent. About three in four candidates for teaching positions in the state identifies as white. The state’s student population is about half white. The percentage of students of color in Illinois has grown from 46 percent to 52 percent since 2008.
Of the 10 biggest school districts in Illinois by enrollment, Chicago has the lowest percentage of white teachers, about 52 percent.
Matt Lyons, chief talent officer at Chicago Public Schools, acknowledged the district faces major challenges in shifting racial balances, the biggest being that fewer people are training to be educators.
Read the full article about teacher diversity by Adeshina Emmanuel at Chalkbeat