- A new report from the Brookings Institution and the National Council on Teacher Quality finds the challenge of diversifying the teacher workforce is a particularly difficult one because of systemic, cyclical problems.
- The Washington Post reports improvement could be elusive as far out as 2060, given the fact that black and Latino college students are graduating at lower rates than their white peers and only a tiny percentage of them are choosing teaching.
- While research has found students with teachers of the same race do better in school and have fewer behavioral problems, the teacher workforce is just 18% nonwhite and the student population is about half minority, creating a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle.
Beyond the need for racial and ethnic diversity among the teaching ranks, there is also a distinct lack of male teachers. About 90% of the students graduating from college education programs now are women. One contributing factor to these numbers is inevitably pay. Men, even more than women, can make higher salaries outside of the teaching profession.
The limits of the teacher pipeline should make administrators try harder to develop innovative recruitment techniques. Some schools are encouraging graduates to get teaching degrees and come back to their home districts. Others are finding success with retention by giving teachers a bigger say in school decision-making. The field has been hit hard by a sense of de-professionalization and top-down school improvement strategies. Individual schools can overcome the odds, however, by creating great places to work.