Education: Teacher Diversity
By Njoli Brown
Almost every conversation about the remedy for Black-White academic achievement disparities includes a recommendation for recruiting and retaining more Black teachers. For those who do not know, the number of Black teachers has been on a steady decline for the past half century. Today Black teachers comprise less than 7 percent of the U.S. public school teaching force. – Larry Ferlazzo –
The right conversation is being had about the importance of students of color being able to see their own faces in the teachers and administrators of the schools which they attend. Not only does it provide a reflective opportunity in which learners can imagine themselves as keepers of knowledge but it also infuses the school with academic participants who can integrate an empathetic element to the environment of academia.
But as importantly should be had the conversation about the positive impact of white students seeing teachers and administrators of color in authoritative positions and as educative resources in their institutions both in and out of predominately minority communities. The houses of education should be countermeasures against racial and intellectual isolationism.
There is no statistic which shows a lowering of achievement in schools where this is the case. In fact, when these educators are included, not as tokens (and I would never underestimate this potential pitfall), but as developmental assets, school communities inevitably benefit. They produce more well rounded and culturally aware individuals with greater functionality and preparedness for a society which, in its current rate of integrative evolve, will either blossom or fail depending on its capacity to capitalize on its growing diversity.
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