New studies from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association give credence to what many education officials already know anecdotally: American teachers are nowhere as diverse as their students.
Across the U.S., half of public-school students are nonwhite, but fewer than 1 in 5 teachers are people of color. In Washington state, 63 percent of students are white, compared with 87 percent of teachers.
Our state’s so-called “diversity gap” was the subject of a 2012 Seattle Times story that explored the link between teacher diversity and minority-student achievement:
Research is increasingly indicating a link between teacher diversity and minority-student achievement.
Yet despite that growing body of evidence around a long-known problem, local public-school districts still can’t seem to recruit and retain teachers of color in any significant way. …
Officials say they’re limited by state budget cuts, laws against affirmative action and, most of all, a lack of candidates.
Advocates acknowledge there are few easy or cheap solutions, but argue that districts are not taking the problem seriously enough.
What do you think? Is teacher diversity a problem in Washington? If so, what’s the best way to address it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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