A Snapshot of the Status of Black Teachers in the Nation’s K-12 Schools

New data from the U.S. Department of Education examines the background and school settings of Black or African American teachers in public and private schools in the United States before the coronavirus pandemic.

During the 2017-18 school year, 7 percent of all teachers were Black or African American. About three-quarters (76 percent) of Black or African American teachers were women. This was the same as for all school teachers.

Compared with all teachers, a higher rate of Black or African American teachers were new to the classroom. Eighteen percent of Black or African American teachers, compared with 14 percent of all teachers, had been teaching for less than 4 years. A lower rate of Black or African American teachers (37 percent) had been teaching for 15 or more years compared with all teachers (43 percent).

About half of Black or African American teachers (51 percent) taught in city schools, compared with 31 percent of all teachers. Black or African American teachers were clustered in southern schools. About two-thirds (66 percent) of Black or African American teachers taught in the South, compared with 39 percent of all teachers.

In public schools, about two-thirds (65 percent) of Black or African American teachers were in schools with 75 percent or more minority enrollment in the school, compared with 27 percent of all public school teachers. Conversely, 3 percent of Black or African American teachers in public schools, compared with 29 percent of all public school teachers, were in schools with less than 25 percent minority enrollment.

The full study, Black or African American Teachers: Background and School Settings in 2017-18, may be downloaded here.

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