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Giving Compass' Take:
• Mimi Woldeyohannes describes the growing gap between student and teacher diversity levels and the consequences of this disparity.
• How can funders help increase the share of teachers of color?
• Learn about a program boosting teacher diversity.
Based on population trends, National Center for Education Statistics predicted that 50.3 percent of the student body for the 2014-15 school year would be people of color — a precursor to the country as a whole becoming majority-minority in the next three decades. (The Office for Civil Rights is expected to release more complete student demographic information for that time span in the next year.)
But are the classrooms of 2018 and beyond rising to meet this seismic shift?
Many critics are less than optimistic. “In general, U.S. schools tend to change more slowly than the country around them, for better or worse,” Jon Valant, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The 74 in an email. “I’m not sure that I’m seeing or expecting a major direct response to the projected demographic shifts.”
Although America is becoming more diverse each year, and is expected to have a majority-minority population by 2044, the teaching force is not keeping up with the changing racial makeup of America’s children. Elementary and secondary school teachers form a group far whiter and more female than the students in their classrooms, despite a strong body of research that indicates that a diverse teaching staff benefits students of all races.
Read the full article about teacher diversity by Mimi Woldeyohannes at The 74.