Giving Compass' Take:

• Corey Scholes addresses the findings from a John Hopkins University study which found that if Black students have even just one Black teacher by third grade, the student is 13% more likely to attend college. 

What resources do schools need in order to increase teacher diversity? 

 Read more about the importance of diverse teachers.

A new study shows, once again, the significant role of teachers of color – and the significant gap in the presence of teachers of color – in American schools.

I didn’t need the new John Hopkins University study to tell me black teachers matter. Diverse teachers, diverse leadership and diverse school cultures create higher expectations, stronger communities and better outcomes for students – and staff.

Yet, even with 22 years as a teacher and school leader, the study’s evidence is compelling. If a black student has just one black teacher by third grade, that student is 13 percent more likely to enroll in college – those who had two black teachers were 32 percent more likely.

These results may speak to the impact of teachers who can relate to students and role models, as well as teacher expectations. The bottom line is, representation matters. But, it doesn’t just matter for feel good, soft skills reasons, it matters for kids’ academics.

In philanthropy, it’s our business to see the opportunity in gaps. Currently, only 2 percent of all teachers are African American and male; 80 percent of teachers are white and female. The entire lens of which a child receives an education is mostly through the perspective of white women. Addressing the imbalance among the teaching core is an obvious way to improve educational outcomes for ALL students.

In our education system today, we can’t ignore this gap. If you’re a kid of color and you had a teacher of color in preschool through fifth grade, you’re 39 percent more likely to persist through high school. That is a powerful number that is statistically significant.

We must raise expectations to acknowledge that a lack of representation creates missed opportunities to form bonds of understanding within the school community and within the future citizens we are teaching.

Read the full article about why teacher representation in schools matters by Corey Scholes at Getting Smart.