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Why Most Teachers Still White While Most Students Are Now “Minorities”

By: Krystle Crossman

The landscape of public schools is changing every year. There are more and more minority students that are enrolled but yet there is one thing that remains unchanged. A majority of the teachers at schools do not match the students. With so many minorities in the classrooms you would think that there would be minority teachers as well however this is not the case. A majority of the teachers in public schools are white.

For the first time ever it is projected that 50.3% of students enrolled in public schools are minorities and 49.7% are white. This will be the first time in history that there are more minority students enrolled than non-minority students. Back in 2004 it was 60% white students and 40% minorities. It is estimated that in 2022 the percentage of white students enrolled in public schools will be 45% while the minorities will be at 55%.

Data shows that since 1997 the number of Hispanic students has grown significantly. The number of Asian students has increased by 46% since 1997 as well. Even though the number of minority students is climbing the number of minority teachers is not. According to The National Center for Education Information the percentage of white teachers was 84% in 2011. Back in 1986 that number was 91% so it has not changed anywhere near as drastically as the student numbers. In the 2003-2004 school year there were 83% that stated that they were white. In a survey that was conducted during the 2011-2012 school year there were 82% of teachers that identified themselves as white.

These studies that were conducted revealed that there was not one single state that had more minority teachers than the other. The ratio of minority students to teachers was relatively even across the board. Some of the largest gaps were in states such as California and Nevada. In California 73% of the students are minorities while only 29% of the teachers are. So where are all of the minority teachers going?

A good amount of the minority teachers enter programs that are called alternative preparation programs. Teach for America is one of these programs and had seen a great increase in the number of minority teachers that come in.

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4 thoughts on “Why Most Teachers Still White While Most Students Are Now “Minorities”

  1. Beth McC

    I have read this article three times and I fail to find a single sentence that gives us any clue regarding the title: “Why Most Teachers Still White While Most Students Are Now “Minorities””. At the very end, it says: “A good amount of the minority teachers enter programs that are called alternative preparation programs. Teach for America is one of these programs and had seen a great increase in the number of minority teachers that come in.” without indicating what is meant by “a good amount” and whether this is teacher preparation or opportunities for teacher employment. There are no links included that might lead the reader to additional information. I read the article eagerly, hoping to see what factors had been identified as possible causes for the discrepancy. I am very disappointed. The article answers no questions whatsoever.

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  2. Ted c

    I agree with Beth above, there are no reasons given. I’ve worked in higher education and have many friends in secondary and elementary education. I can say that the system favors non minorities in those professional fields. A key thing to look at is who are running the boards of education and principalships. Basically who does the hiring and firing and sets the policy, from the governmental level down. That’s the devil on the details. Until more minorities that are concerned with minority presence in the education field are in place in leadership in education, we will see no improvement in these statistics, we need to be more concerned with the run and governance of institutions than just being mere employees as minorities. That goes for businesses as well,

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  3. MOBig

    REMEMBER, blacks in the 60s marched for integration – oh how they pleaded. The NAACP basically said white schools – and therefore white teachers – are better instructors for blacks than black ones. And a black boy sitting next to a white boy will help the black boy learn how to learn – so to speak. Blacks in the 60s had no problem with this overt racism message.

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