A new study by the U.S. Department of Education offers a look at the changing demographics of the teacher workforce in the nation’s K-12 school systems over the quarter-century period from 1987 to 2012.
The data shows that in 1987 there were 197,900 Black teachers employed by the nation’s elementary and secondary schools. By 2012, this number had grown to 247,900. But shockingly, the percentage of all teachers who were Black dropped from 7.5 percent to 6.4 percent. This came at a time when the number and the percentage of Blacks in K-12 school systems increased dramatically.
In 1987, Blacks made up 5.6 percent of all new teachers in elementary and secondary schools. In 2012, this percentage had increased to 6.7 percent. But since, the Black percentage of the total teacher workforce has declined, it appears that the major problem may be the retention of Black teachers.
The full study, A Quarter Century of Changes in the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force: From 1987 to 2012, may be downloaded here.