We need more teachers of color.

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A significantly large percent of educators in the U.S. are heterosexual, female, and white. More specifically,  only eighteen percent of teachers in public schools are people of color. The overwhelming lack of diverse faces does not reflect the 51% of students from multicultural backgrounds. An insufficient amount of instructors from African American, Hispanic and other minority groups may lead to a decrease in academic and social aspects of school systems.

“Increasing teacher diversity is a very important strategy for improving learning for students of color and for closing achievement gaps,” said LPI President and Stanford professor emeritus, Linda Darling-Hammond. “While White students also benefit by learning from teachers of color, the impact is especially significant for students of color, who have higher test scores, are more likely to graduate high school, and more likely to succeed in college when they have had teachers of color who serve as role models and support their attachment to school and learning.¨

Furthermore, studies show that African-American educators have higher expectations for students of color than non POC. According to the Washington Post, ¨When a white (or other non-black) teacher and a black teacher evaluate the same black student, the study found, the white teacher is 30 percent less likely to believe that the student will graduate from a four-year college — and 40 percent less likely to believe the student will graduate from high school.¨

According to an article titled ¨Why We Need A Teacher Workforce That’s Both Diverse And Knowledgeable¨ on Forbes.com, ¨One study found that low-income black children who have even just one black teacher between third and fifth grades are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to aspire to college. ¨

In addition, www.usnews.com reported that the total minority enrollment of Windsor High School is 73 percent in 2017. When asked, a few students could only name a half a dozen teachers of color. Most students, such as senior Aretha Parabawa, noticed the lack of diversity at the school. She stated that it was easier connecting to the few teachers who were immigrants or looked like her because “they know my struggle.”

If the playing field is not leveled for all students, how can we expect future leaders to attend to the needs of a diverse society?

Opposing views may argue that people of color are not applying for jobs in the educational field- only half of Latino and Black college students receive their bachelor’s degree in education. Studies show only 6% of African American people with four year college degrees and half as likely to obtain a college degree than non-Hispanic white adults.

However, if aspiring teachers  had more in obtaining scholarships and financial help the numbers could  increase. In addition, Barack Obama´s FY17 Budget suggests multiple strategies to increase the diversity in the race/ethnicity of educators.

 

“As a white person, I don’t really notice that there is not a lot of teachers of color,” said WHS freshman Julia Steinberg. “Some students may not have people to talk to at home,” she commented. “If students have people to connect with, they can become an outlet for them.”

 

Without a doubt, more teachers of color are needed to

male teacher of African-American descent

motivate, inspire, and properly nurture the innovators of tomorrow.