Top Education Officials Say America’s Schools Need More Black Teachers

“The world of knowledge and understanding, creativity and curiosity does not just belong to one group of people. It belongs to all of us,” says Dr. Fenwick.

Research says that teachers of color have high academic expectations for minority students and can be highly motivated to work together, reduce stereotypes and implicit biases in racially segregated schools.

Minorities account for the growing share of 50 million children in American public schools.

Sadly, a new report by the Albert Shanker Institute (ASI) shows that teachers of color only make 17 percent of the teaching force.

Additionally, the ASI report says cities like Washington, D.C. and New Orleans recorded a significant decrease of the black teaching population from 2002 to 2012 by more than 24 percent and almost 28 percent respectively.

Without doubt, black teachers are being erased from the system altogether.

A unanimous agreement on the need to have more teachers of color in America was made at a panel co-sponsored by the Howard University School of Education by Secretary of Education, John King, the CEO of Teach For America, Elisa Villanueva Beard and the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Randi Weingarten.

Addressing the audience at the university’s School of Social Work auditorium, Weingarten said that, “we need to keep the African-American and Latino teachers and Native teachers. We need to nurture them, keep them [and] support them. We need to lift them up.”

The Dean of the Howard University School of Education and panel moderator, Dr. Leslie Stenwick said, although that “many people don’t want to acknowledge that history as the cause and the factor for what we’re experiencing today, there were deliberate efforts to smash and interrupt the black teacher and principal pipeline.”

Teaching profession is a focal point in 2016 election. Hillary Clinton asserted in a recent debate that the decrease in the number of teachers takes place because they are often the scapegoats for low-performing schools and policymakers who are not eager to provide adequate funding.

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