A Severe Lack of Teacher Diversity in the Nation’s K-12 Schools

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers statistics on the K-12 teacher workforce in the United States. The report found that 80 percent of the nation’s teachers are White, while only 45 percent of the students in these schools are White. African Americans are 6.1 percent of all teachers in public schools but 15 percent of all students.

Blacks are 10.3 percent of all teachers in public charter schools and only 3.7 percent of the teacher workforce in the nation’s private K-12 schools. African Americans make up 9.2 percent of the teachers in urban schools but only 3.3 percent of teachers in rural schools.

African Americans make up 6 percent of elementary school teachers and 6.3 percent of high school teachers. In schools where at least 75 percent of K–12 students were approved for free or reduced-price lunches, African Americans were 10.7 percent of the teacher workforce. Whites were nearly 69 percent of the teachers in these schools.

In schools where less than a third of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches, Blacks were just 2.2 percent of all teachers, whereas Whites were 88.4 percent of all teachers.


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  1. I have seen the negative impacts that this disparity creates on our students at all levels from K-14. I have had the privilege of teaching children from 3 to adults and the assumptions about black student behavior are atrocious and depressing. There is a culture that some black students are just beyond reaching and beyond redeeming. I have tried to fight against this and have begged to allow these students to come and see me. I was mocked and told that I just don’t understand. This is what we are dealing with. It is an unconscious bias borne from institutionalized racism; that, unfortunately, I am no longer allowed to acknowledge or discuss in my state.

  2. It is actually incorrect to use the title “Dr.” and then follow it with “PhD.” Use one or the other, but not both together.

    There may be plenty of institutional racism in American education. but the evidence from the research literature is that increasing the number or percentage of black teachers teaching black students does not improve the academic achievement of black students. On the whole, white teachers are more effective than black teachers. Sometimes, white teachers also are better resourced, which is one of the original arguments for racial integration.

    • Moro,

      Please provide the resource(s) of your claim that White teachers are more effective than black teachers. Also, let me correct your statement of there may be plenty of institutional racism in America education; actually there “is” institutional racism in American education.

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