A teacher helps a student in a computer lab.

California classrooms may be getting more diverse, but public school teachers don’t reflect that trend, according to a new study by The Center for American Progress. The report finds that while 73 percent of the state’s K-12 students are non-white, only 29 percent of teachers are people of color. We’ll discuss the findings, and why the authors conclude that we need to do more to increase diversity in our teaching ranks.

Ulrich Boser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and an author of the report "Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State- by-State Analysis"

  • Lance

    The recruitment pool availability in regard to both diversity and gender has become more limited in the last decade. I’d like to hear thoughts on the teaching gender gap affect, and how education cost to entry level teacher pay has made the barriers to become a teacher wrap into this report.

  • Robert Thomas

    Since when do doctors, lawyers, engineers or scientists “work for four or five years and then move on”?

    What a lot of nonsense. Despite the media’s PERVERSE misapprehension, the technology industry, at least, is NOT populated by slovenly unshaven “coders” briefly drawn into the industry from bar tending and just as quickly lost to fast food management.

    Is Mr Boser suggesting that the latter description is more appropriate for teachers?

  • K.A.AM

    I think it’s good for kids to look at their teachers who are of different ethnicities and be inspired to be competitive and do better.

  • Simon

    As an Asian parent, I don’t mind teachers of my kids are White. I will teach her our own culture at home. In the mean time, she can learn other culture aspects from other groups. It will definitely help her succeed later on.

  • puzzled_in_palo_alto

    It is unfortunate that there is an observable difference in how well children learn/perform when their teacher is of a different racial or ethnic group than their own. Clearly, this represents an ongoing challenge for a fully integrated and colorblind society and amplifies the persisting economic disparities between communities of color and others.

  • rhuberry

    How many want to join and remain in the profession when teachers have been blamed for everything wrong with schools (and by extension what’s wrong with kids) today?? Teachers are at the bottom of the education chain of command and have less and less to do with even running their own classrooms these days. Administrators and even bureaucrats are increasingly dictating classroom practices — all the way up to the federal government now with the Common Core nonsense.

    Also maybe the guest calling from Washington DC isn’t aware that most likely the high population of Hispanic students in Sonoma Valley are children of farmworkers. The valley probably doesn’t have a large pool of potential Hispanic teachers from this area. And for how long has this disparity existed??

  • jsawicki1

    I wanted to draw listeners’ attention to a new site I recently launched, Black.Man.Teach. http://blackmanteach.tumblr.com. The site aims to draw attention to the need for more African American male teachers while simultaneously celebrating those individuals. Black.Man.Teach gives a voice to these underrepresented teachers and chronicles the numerous ways in which they bring value to the work of educating our nation’s children. Our first responsibility in recruiting more teachers of color is to better understand and learn from the experiences of existing teachers who have chosen to to this work. Black.Man.Teach has reaffirmed my belief in the power and efficacy of effective black male teachers. It has also convinced me that there is an urgent need for our profession to address diversity within our ranks. In order for teachers to better serve all children, black male teachers must play a more prominent role in classrooms, as well as conversations that address our country’s most pressing education issues.

  • SFwork

    Before you start hurling insults about the Common Core, you should probably look up what they really mean for students. The implementation may have issues but the Common Core was written by TEACHERS. Not to mention, surveys show that the majority of teachers around the country support them. They aren’t nonsense, they ACTUALLY deliver what good teachers want for their students: depth over breadth. Interestingly enough, one of the main shifts is for students to be able to cite textutal EVIDENCE in their arguments — not just opinions. Perhaps you should go back to school to learn this skill.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Teachers in places like Denmark come from the top 10% of college graduates and the schools do not seem to have a one size fits all mentality. No mention of the fact that girls and boys do best in same sex schools. And all students do best IF they come from homes that value education.

  • Retired Teacher

    Why would anyone walk into the turmoil that is churning up American education today? Even if they felt it was their calling?

    The Chicago teachers Union adopted a resolution on May 7, 2014 opposing Common Core State Standards. Their resolution lists the verifiable complaints agains CCSS, including development, lack of piloting, adverse impacts, and the growing overreach into local school board governance by the federal Department of Education.

    The American Statistical Association published a report on April 8, 2014, analyzing the complexities of rating teacher performance by Value Added Measures (VAM) and then detailing how as little as one per cent and no more than 14 per cent of a student’s performance is attributable to the teacher because there are so many other factors outside the teacher’s control. And yet we have voices in Congress who want to blame student achievement problems on teachers.

    Millions of dollars are not being spent on the education of children. $100 Million in taxpayer dollars has been lost due to fraud waste and abuse by charter school operators occurring in 15 states as documented by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education on May 5, 2014.

    Diane Ravitch’s detailed reply (Dianne Ravitch blog, May 5, 10:30 AM) to Alexander Nazaryan, who had written an article in Newsweek and then asked for her criticism. You’ll see a very good summary of the forces roiling education today.

    So the teacher is held responsible, resources are cut, class sizes are increased, and the teacher has no protection of a fair hearing if a student or parents are displeased–for any reason.

    While there are many benefits to diversity and culturally empathetic teachers for children’s benefit, in reality, for anything other than altruistic reasons, would you advise your friends or relatives to take on student debt in order take this career path knowing that it’s a no-win. Is that a fair burden while so much support is deliberately being withheld from them?

  • HiloHattie

    Regardless of race, ethnicity or national origin (terms it seems which are being used interchangeably nowadays!), a student does best in school when coming from a supportive and functional home life and, is being taught by teachers who are highly educated, passionate for their discipline and able to communicate it to their students. This is a bogus study… it leaves out of the discussion whether schools attended by and taught primariy by the same race or ethnicity might be more likely to be grade-inflating and passing or graduating students onward regardless of their age/grade competencies… making it appear that the same race or ethnicity shared by the teacher and student is the ticket to higher outcomes. Grade inflation and undeserved advancement is, of course, a problem in all schools. Nevertheless, predominately segregated schools, whether low or high performing (Yes, I taught in a nearly all, ethnically Asian school that is academically one of the top in the nation) and, ethnically diverse schools must attract and hire the top graduates who are more likely to be able to be successful in not only encouraging high performance but in managing all the demands of being a classroom teacher.

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