September 23, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
The number of Afro-American teachers in nine major cities declined sharply between 2002 and 2012, according to a report released Sept. 17 by the American Federation of Teachers’ Albert Shanker Institute.
The report, “The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education,” found that the number of black teachers had fallen by 15% in New York during the decade and by 62% in New Orleans—where the city’s public schools were largely closed down and replaced by nonunion charter schools after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. American schools have had significant success recruiting black and Latino teachers, said Richard Ingersoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who contributed to the report, “but they've been undermined by these high quit rates.” Minority teachers, he added, “are disproportionately employed in predominantly urban, predominantly poor, and predominantly high minority schools," which are harder places to work in. “We've reached a crisis in urban education as it pertains to teaching diversity," said AFT President Randi Weingarten, urging President Barack Obama to act. Read more