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


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.
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.
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
Content provided by Microsoft
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute

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 Conservative Backlash Pushes Biden Administration to Dissolve New National Parent Council
Parent advocacy groups sued the U.S. Department of Education over the council, claiming it was unlawfully biased.
6 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks during a roundtable with School District of Philadelphia officials, the principal, a teacher, and a parent at the Olney Elementary School Annex in North Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks during a roundtable discussion last year in Philadelphia.
Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
Federal How a Divided Congress Will Influence K-12 Education Policy
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives education committees will have new leaders in January.
6 min read
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks Monday, June 13, 2022, during a debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, Hosted by Fox News at the The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston for a debate intended to prove that bipartisanship isn't dead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a June debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, at The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Sanders is poised to become the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Josh Reynolds/AP
Federal What the Federal 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Actually Says
The bill would restrict federal funds for lessons on LGBTQ identities. The outcome of this week's election could revive its prospects.
4 min read
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in front of the Florida State Capitol on March 7, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida House Republicans advanced a bill, dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, to forbid discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, rejecting criticism from Democrats who said the proposal demonizes LGBTQ people.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law was a model for a federal bill introduced last month.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.