Writing for The 74, Marianna McMurdock recently reviewed new research that shows that Black and Latino students are disproportionately taught by inexperienced, uncertified teachers. Excerpts of the piece appear below:
Across the country, schools serving predominantly Black students have 5 percent more novice teachers than schools with fewer Black students, according to analysis from education advocacy nonprofit The Education Trust. In a quarter of states, gaps are even wider: Predominantly Black schools have at least twice as many novice teachers as schools serving the fewest.
In 32 states, there are more first-year teachers in schools serving the most Latino students. Three – Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Washington – have the biggest gaps, with Latino students at least twice as likely to have a novice teacher.
“Our findings reveal that our education system is failing Black students, as they find themselves more likely than any other group of students to be in classrooms with teachers who are in their first years of teaching or teachers who are uncertified,” the two reports, focused on Black and Latino students separately, stated.
Little progress in efforts to retain teachers in these schools has been made since federal data showed similar disparities in 2014 — so stark then that the Department of Education began requiring states to outline teacher equity plans.
Novice teachers said they leave their posts because they receive little training or mentoring. As a result, students could go years without an experienced educator — the primary predictor of student success. Gaps in access to quality teachers can have long-term consequences on students’ academic achievement, college enrollment and future income.
Stronger statewide data systems — to track teacher departures, demographic data and professional development opportunities — tops the reports’ policy recommendations to retain experienced teachers for students of color. Further recommendations from the reports include investing in mentorship, residency and grow-your-own programs; incentivizing work in high-need schools and subjects; and hiring earlier in high-turnover districts.