Opinion
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

Research Finds Black Males’ Interest in K-12 Teaching Rising

May 17, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In the Education Week article “Black Male Teachers a Rarity,” attention is called to disturbing statistics about the attrition of teachers of color, and, in particular, male teachers of color, in public schools across the country. The article suggests that while the pool of qualified and committed teachers of color is increasing, these same teachers are also leaving the profession at a higher rates than white teachers. It draws upon research findings that “many nonwhite educators feel voiceless and incapable of effecting change in their schools.”

Yet while the article rightly underscores the combination of personal, institutional, and structural reasons why black men are leaving the teaching profession, there is reason to feel optimistic that this statistic can be reversed.

In 2014, for example, our soon-to-be-published research shows, historically black colleges conferred a disproportionate number of degrees in education, including 30 percent of the education degrees conferred to black men. Teacher education programs at historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, are actively trying to solve issues of teacher retention and attrition as well. By designing innovative programs to better prepare teachers to work in schools that have concentrations of students of color and otherwise “at risk” students, MSIs give us new models for effective student teaching and clinical preparation.

In particular, MSIs have been national leaders in building university-school-community partnerships. Teachers who graduate from MSIs have spent significant time in the schools and communities in which they seek to work. The issues these teachers face when they have their own classrooms thus come as no surprise, and, in turn, they arrive armed with strategies for success.

This is not to say that their jobs are not difficult, but that they come to this work with the mindset and tenacity needed to change individual lives, struggling with the larger structural inequities in their schools and in American education more generally.

Alice Ginsberg

Assistant Director for Research

Marybeth Gasman

Director

Andrés Castro Samayoa

Assistant Director for Assessment and Senior Research Associate

Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pa.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 18, 2016 edition of Education Week as Research Finds Black Males’ Interest in K-12 Teaching Rising


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion When Educational Equity Descends Into Educational Nihilism
Schools need to buckle down to engage and educate kids—not lower (or eliminate) expectations in the name of “equity.”
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty