Recent statistics raise questions on racism causing minority teachers to quit their urban school jobs. Figures point towards a 62 percent decrease within the last 10 years, according to the Albert Shanker Institute.
- Findings of the Albert Shanker Institute survey
- Possible factors behind minority teachers’ lack of interest in educating jobs
- The part that governmental programs play on stimulating minority teachers
A recent survey conducted by the Albert Shanker Institute indicates that the percentage of minority teachers has dropped considerably compared to 2002. To be more precise, in the period between 2002 and 2012, 62 percent black teachers quitted their urban school jobs and chose a completely different field, instead.
All this while the percentage of minority students has registered a remarkable growth. By 2022, it is estimated that 54.7 percent minority students will enter the public education system. Unfortunately, by then, there could be only 20% minority teachers left to educate them.
The survey has looked at data from eight different states including Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Comparisons indicate that the biggest decline was registered in New Orleans, but the rest of the states are not doing any better either.
Researchers at Albert Shanker Institute have further noticed that the percentage of Hispanic teachers is somewhat higher than that of the African American teachers. Yet, figures are still very low compared to the percentage of working white teachers.
One possible explanation that surveyors have found for the current situation is that public schools are not interested in hiring new teachers, but rather preserving the ones they already have. This explains why more African American teachers work in private education facilities instead of public schools.
The poor conditions in public schools, as well as the very small waves are two other factors that prevent minority teachers from dedicating themselves to a career in education, according to the American Federation of Teachers. The average starting salary for teachers has been set to $34,575, whereas other professionals have an average starting salary of $40,575.
The U.S. government, on the other hand, thinks significant efforts have been made to stimulate black teachers to start a career in education. They introduced the “White House Executive Order on Educational Excellence for African-Americans” in an attempt to improve recruitment and preparation of black teachers.
In spite of Obama’s confidence in his reform, figures suggest the initiative was a fiasco. The Shanker Institute, however, thinks improvements should be made in retaining teachers as this where the system has failed.
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