Teachers of Color: In High Demand and Short Supply

The Learning Policy Institute has examined national data and recent research on the barriers teachers of color face to both entering and staying in the profession. Their new report, Diversifying the Teaching Profession: How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color, includes recommendations intended to help policymakers increase teacher workforce diversity-an especially important strategy to advance greater cultural understanding and to combat achievement gaps.

Author Desiree Carver Thomas finds that while the population of teachers of color overall is growing, Black and Native American teachers are a declining share of the teacher workforce and the gap between the percentage of Latinx teachers and students is larger than for any other racial or ethnic group. The report also examines how the lack of diversity in the teaching workforce impacts students, and offers district and state policy solutions.

Increasing teacher diversity is a very important strategy for improving learning for students of color and for closing achievement gaps, the study finds. And, while White students also benefit by learning from teachers of color, the impact is especially significant for students of color, who have higher test scores, are more likely to graduate high school, and more likely to succeed in college when they have had teachers of color who serve as role models and support their attachment to school and learning. Students with racially diverse teachers also have fewer unexcused absences and are less likely to be chronically absent.

View the report here: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/diversifying-teaching-profession-report