Teacher Diversity Gaps Hit Close to Home for Nearly Everyone

Last month, Brookings kicked off a series focused on diversity in the public teacher workforce with an article looking at patterns and trends in the diversity gap across locales, school sectors, and teacher generations. This analysis showed, among other things, that the diversity gap is not monolithic, but varies across different places.

This month, Michael Hansen  and Diana Quintero of Brookings Institute extend this analysis by mapping the depth and breadth of gaps across the U.S.   

Conversations to date about teacher diversity gaps have largely lacked geographic detail. Prior research about teacher diversity has almost exclusively used data from national sources to present a picture of diversity gaps through a macro lens. (There are a few notable exceptions using more localized data sources focusing on particular states or metro areas, including a new data visualization from the Urban Institute.)  

The problem with the macro lens, of course, is that it masks underlying variation that may be occurring across the nation with respect to diversity gaps. Teaching is a very localized occupation, and these gaps are expected to vary across different geographies depending on both student and teacher demographics.

To provide a more comprehensive picture of the variation in diversity gaps across the country, Brookings produced a series of maps using data from the American Community Survey. The result is color-coded maps that show the gaps between student racial/ethnic demographics and teacher racial/ethnic demographics across the country.

To view the data visualizations, see