The Need for Minority Teachers in Urban Schools


The Need for Minority Teachers in Urban Schools



Dierra Jenkins, Carolyn Price and Mark Adams, EDU 201: Introduction to Education
Faculty Mentor: Professor Sandra Washington-Copeland, Buffalo Urban Teacher Pipeline Residency Undergraduate Program

The absence of diversity in K-12 teaching staff is a nationwide problem, especially for urban schools. In Buffalo Public Schools, Black and Latino students make up two-thirds of the enrollment, yet only ten percent of teachers are minorities. Graduation rates are at an all-time low in urban schools, so there is an urgent need to figure out how to solve this problem. Our literature review focuses on the reasons behind the lack of diversity as well as the benefits to students. Studies have shown that when students are taught by people who look like them, they have a better chance of success. For example, having one teacher of color in grammar school greatly increases the chances of African American students graduating from high school and attending college. A recent study found that there has been a significant increase in the percentage of minority teachers; however, retaining these teachers has been a problem. They have left the teaching profession at higher rates than non-minority teachers. Future research will include looking at the reasons why there is a higher turnover rate for minority teachers as well as review initiatives, such as Teacher Pipeline and other programs, that have been put in place to help rectify these problems.

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The Need for Minority Teachers in Urban Schools