Retaining Teachers of Color
All students benefit from having even just one teacher of color, but the benefits are even greater for students of color to see someone leading instruction who looks like them. For example, students of color who have a teacher of the same race or ethnicity are more likely to attend school regularly, graduate from high school, and aspire to attend college, and more.
Although a majority of America’s public school students are students of color, fewer than 20% of our nation’s teachers identify as people of color — and Black males only make up 2% of the teacher workforce.
And while many school districts are championing more diversity in the classroom, Black and Latino teachers are leaving the profession at higher rates than their White peers. To build and maintain a teacher workforce that is representative and capable of serving an increasingly diverse student population, district leaders must pay as much attention to understanding and creating the right conditions to retain Black and Latino teachers as they do to recruiting them.
The anti-racist protests occurring across the country point to the need for impacted communities to be at the decision-making table when policies are created that impact the lives of people in those communities. But as history continues to play out, those who are closest to the problem are often left out the conversation. And that is true throughout most systems in America, including our educational system. To make changes, policymakers must listen to, and learn from, Black and Latino teachers.
The Education Trust has partnered with DonorsChoose, through the generosity of funding by Google, to survey 1,500 teachers, including 900 teachers of color, to understand some of the current conditions facing Black and Latino teachers, how those conditions different from other teachers, and what can be done to help Black and Latino teachers stay in the classroom. What we found validates the findings from our prior research, in which teachers of color have more negative experiences with school culture and working conditions. Black teachers in particular reported the least amount of satisfaction with school culture.
To receive the results of the survey on the impact that working conditions and school culture has on Black and Latino teachers along with state, district, and school-level recommendations to address these factors, please sign up below.