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National Report Finds Increasing Lack of Diversity in Educator Workforce

National Report Finds Increasing Lack of Diversity in Educator Workforce

The U.S. Department of Education released today a report that examines the lack of diversity in the nation’s educator workforce thanks to a decreasing number of minorities entering the pipeline to become a teacher.

The report revealed that only one in every five U.S. teachers are of color, a sharp contract to the 49 percent of U.S. students who are.

Given the fact that studies have shown teacher diversity to be linked to increased student achievement, especially for minorities, the report indicates a growing need for action.

Earlier in the year, a paper from researchers Stephen B. Holt and Seth Gershenson titled The Impact of Teacher Demographic Representation on Student Attendance and Suspensions found that racial mismatch between students and teachers is linked to higher absences and suspensions.

"Our within-classroom analysis of the impact of racial mismatch at the student-teacher level finds modest, positive, statistically significant effects of racial mismatch on both absenteeism and suspensions, regardless of how absenteeism and propensity to be suspended are measured,” the paper said.

Education leaders have expressed a commitment to helping more minorities enter and stay in the teaching profession.

“It’s important for students of color to have role models who look like them and share common experiences. It’s just as important for all students to see teachers of color in leadership roles in their classrooms and communities. We must work together to support states and districts as they work to prepare, hire, support, and retain a more diverse teacher workforce,” Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said.

The Department of Education released the report ahead of the National Summit on Teacher Diversity which is being held today from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET at the Department.

Read the full report.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

5/6/216

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