Study Looks at Racial Gap Between Students and Teachers in the Nation’s Public Schools

The Center for American Progress recently released a new analysis of racial diversity in the teacher workforce of the nation’s public school systems. The report states that “although people of color constitute more than one-third of the U.S. labor force, less than 20 percent of teachers identify as people of color. In some cities, the problem is especially acute: In Boston, there is one Hispanic teacher for every 52 Hispanic students and one Black teacher for every 22 Black students.”

The analysis concluded that teacher diversity numbers have only gotten worse since a similar Center for American Progress report in 2012. If the numbers are broken down to state level, the report shows that some states saw stagnation or decreases in their percentages of nonwhite teachers. These states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.

The analysis found that California has the largest gap — 40 percentage points — between nonwhite students and teachers. Other states with huge gaps that have significant numbers of Black students in the public schools include Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Texas.

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