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Issue of Minority Hiring in Schools

Every year, fewer and fewer minority teachers are being hired in schools. If they are
hired, they are more likely to leave than their white colleagues. There is a major diversity
problem today in schools and it has affected the relationships between the teachers and the
students. This is an issue that needs to be explored.
A recent study by researchers from the University of Kansas and the University of
Missouri, suggests that if more minority teachers were hired in schools, it would create better
attitudes and fairness among the teacher, students and the school in general. The study also
suggests with the shootings by white police officers of black individuals in Ferguson, Baltimore
and elsewhere, it has affected childrens idea of authority and it is important to be aware of the
perceptions they have in their environments.
University of Kansas professor and co-author Dr. Don Haider-Markel recommends said
schools should increase their African-American teacher proportions, especially in schools with
10% or more black students. But, according to the American Association of College for Teacher
Education (AACTE), more than 80 percent of the bachelors degrees in education were for white
students. The diversity in students may have increased, but the diversity of teachers has stayed
the same.
Liz Chilton, a school teacher at Westcliff Elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas said she
believes minority hires should be a focus.

We have recently hired a minority teacher at our school and she is very highly regarded
by the parents of our minority students. The students respond very well to her as well. With the
recent shootings of young black citizens by white policemen, we need to be aware of tension
that has caused distrust between minority students and white authority, Chilton said, Our
teacher has a good relationship with the black students at my school. They seem to have a
rapport with those students that is special to the culture. This is a clear sign that having minority
teachers would benefit the school system.
Leah Wagner, a senior education major at the University of Kansas said, I student teach
at Sunflower Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission district. There are no minority teachers
at my school, and two black students in my classroom. When asked why she thought there
weren't any minority teachers she said, Ive always wondered why I dont see a lot of black
students studying to be a teacher because it is so important to have diversity in schools and this
should be an issue that is spoken about more.
Paul Beare, the dean of California State University-Fresnos Kremen School of
Education and a commenter on the AACTE study, said theres another reason why the minority
rate is low: Many black students have never had a minority teacher, so they cannot relate and
dont think about becoming a teacher themselves.
According to the AACTE, Fresno State has worked to increase its diversity numbers by
offering financial plans and partnerships with local schools. There is also student teacher sideby-side co-teaching models instead of the student teaching the class alone for a period of time.
Beare said the schools diversity has increased a little, but there is still a lot of progress to be
made.