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Non-White Teachers More Likely to be Dissatisfied With Profession

Non-White Teachers More Likely to be Dissatisfied with Profession

As the nation struggles to diversify its educator workforce to match the increasing diversity of its student population, new research indicates that non-white teachers may leave the profession at a quicker rate because they’re simply not satisfied.

The research, published in Education Finance and Policy, surveyed first-year teachers who entered the classroom in 2008 and found that non-white teachers were more likely to be less satisfied with the job.

"The findings may help explain why teachers of color leave the classroom at significantly higher rates than white teachers,” said The Seventy-Four.

They also confirm that fewer minority teachers are entering the profession to begin with.

"The report also shows that the proportion of black and Hispanic teachers entering the classroom was lower in 2008 than in 2000 (though higher compared to 1993). Similarly a 2015 study found significant declines in the number of black teachers working in many major cities including New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles,” The Seventy-Four said.

While this specific report does not pin-point certain reasons why non-white teachers might report lower satisfaction, The Seventy-Four says "dissatisfaction with administration, student discipline problems, accountability and testing mandates, lack of influence and autonomy, and poor working conditions” are the typical reasons for minority teachers leaving.

Indeed, a recent article from Slate Magazine on the lack of diversity in New Orleans’ teacher workforce following its reform after Hurricane Katrina discusses how many schools rely on minority teachers to fill roles supplementary to the role of educator.

“...schools too often rely disproportionately on educators of color to staff certain positions in the school, like disciplinarian,” the article says.

"It raises loaded questions about who is fit to teach and who is fit to punish,” and adds additional stress to an already stressful position.

And as high school teacher Nate Bowling tells The Seventy-Four, it’s inherently harder for minority teachers to not feel isolated when entering the position with the knowledge that they are “already a minority numerically.”

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor



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