Federal Federal File

Minority Workers at the Ed. Dept.

By David J. Hoff — December 08, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The number of high-level managers who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups is rising across much of the federal bureaucracy, but not at the Department of Education, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

Of the 66 people in the Senior Executive Service or other top nonpolitical executive positions at the Education Department in September 2007, 10 officials, or 15 percent, were members of minority groups, the GAO said in a Nov. 26 report.

By comparison, 13 of the 60 people, or 21 percent, in SES and other high-level Education Department positions on Oct. 1, 2000, were members of minorities, the GAO reported.

The Education Department and two others were the only ones out of 24 executive agencies where the proportion of minorities in upper-level career jobs decreased from 2000 to 2007, the GAO found.

“The improvements reported by GAO are good, but [federal employers] need to do more to create a truly diverse corps of senior executives and SES candidates,” Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawaii, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that the next Congress and administration will aggressively confront these remaining deficits.”

Sen. Akaka, who is the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees government management, said he would introduce a bill in the upcoming Congress to ensure that more minority-group members are represented in high-level civil service jobs.

Since last year, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has appointed nine people to SES positions, and four of them are African-Americans, department spokesman Chad Colby said in an e-mail. That raises the proportion of minorities in such jobs to 19 percent, he said.

The department has increased the diversity of its workforce by recruiting minorities at lower levels, he said. That will result in more minority candidates for upper-level jobs in the future, he predicted.

Of the 6,555 workers in the SES late last year, 16 percent were minority-group members, up from 14 percent in 2000, the GAO said. Of 150,000 people in the SES developmental pool, 22.5 percent were members of minorities. That’s 4.5 percentage points more than in 2000.

A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2008 edition of Education Week


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.
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
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.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

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

Federal Lawmakers, Education Secretary Clash Over Charter School Rules
Miguel Cardona says the administration wants to ensure charters show wide community interest before securing federal funding.
5 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, is seen during a White House event on April 27. The following day, he defended the Biden administration's budget proposal on Capitol Hill.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Opinion What If We Treated Public Education Like the Crisis It Is?
A former governor warns that without an overhaul, education's failures will cost the nation dearly.
Bev Perdue
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration of the sun rising behind a broken down school building
Federal What the Research Says Education Research Has Changed Under COVID. Here's How the Feds Can Catch Up
Adam Gamoran, chairman of a National Academies panel on the future of education research, talks about the shift that's needed.
5 min read
Graphic shows iconic data images all connected.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Federal 7 Takeaways for Educators From Biden's State of the Union
What did President Joe Biden say about education in his first State of the Union address to Congress? Here's a point-by-point summary.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington as Vice President Kamala Harris applauds and House speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., looks on.
President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in attendance.
Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times via AP