As the nation’s population and its students have grown more diverse, the teaching force has done the opposite – grown whiter and less diverse. This fact is discouraging, as the roles that ethnicity and cultural competence plays is significant in student achievement. The National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force examined the relationship between educational achievement and teachers’ diversity. They found that by increasing the percentage of teachers of color in classrooms directly relates to closing the student achievement gap (Tedlock, 2004). While it is worth examining minority teacher staffing in relation to minority student achievement, this research does not focus on that topic.
It is time to open the dialogue regarding the lack of minority teachers in the classroom. What sparked the racial disparities found across the nation in the public school setting, and how can the country begin to address and remedy this significant problem? If diversity is a key factor in improving the quality of America’s teaching force (Tedlock, 2004), why is there not more minority teachers spread across America’s schools?
Research shows that the loss of minority teachers in the public school systems has had a lasting negative impact on students, particularly minority students and their communities beyond academic achievement. Furthermore, Ingersoll (2011) adds that the damaging result of the teacher-student racial disparity rate results in minority students lacking minority adult role models and contact with teachers who understand their racial and cultural background. There is widespread concern for the demographic disparities and their negative impact on the quality of education for children. Truly, the absenc...
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...ents to educable mentally retarded classes and other systematic victimizations of youngsters developed. Holmes continued to argue that society pointed to poverty, poor health, and family disintegration as the root causes of underachievement, rather than addressing a system of structured inequalities. These trends have continued on to the current era and have directly impacted the pre-service teaching pool. In late 2001, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act. The goal of the legislation was to improve the academic performance of all students, while also closing the achievement gaps that persists between students of different ethnic groups and economic background. However, the elements found within the law paid little attention to cultural competence and diversity in the teacher workforce – critical factors in improving the performance of minority students.
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