Brandon Johnson is an organizer for the Chicago Teacher’s Union and the leader of its Black Caucus. Recently he pointed out the fact that despite the growing diversity found in our nation’s population of school aged children, the pool of teachers fails to reflect the diversity. Instead, the opposite has occurred. The “teaching force” continues to experience an increase in white teachers and the shortage of black teachers becomes increasingly evident. He goes on to point out that there is particularly a shortage of black men teachers.
“In 2000, 52 percent of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and 41 percent of CPS teachers were black. Today, 43 percent of students and just 25 percent of teachers are black.”
Despite a voiced desire for our schools to reflect the diversity that fills their hallways the challenge in such occurring remains.
“Black teachers are more likely to work in high-poverty schools with high percentages of black students. In other words, the data indicates that black teachers are employed at higher rates in schools serving students with severe challenges, augmented by their living conditions. These same schools tend to be less desirable workplaces and are disrupted by a revolving door of administrators, plagued by relentless testing and are void of teacher autonomy over curriculum and are more likely to be closed or “turned-round.”
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BMWK — Do you think the continued decline of black school teachers is a concern?
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