ERIC Identifier: ED302898
Publication Date: 1988-00-00
Author: Donnelly, Margarita
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teacher Education Washington DC.| ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational
Management Eugene OR.
Training and Recruiting Minority Teachers. ERIC Digest Series
Since 1980 the number of minority students enrolled in public schools has
been rising while the number of minority teachers has been falling. Minority
students now make up nearly 30 percent of the elementary and secondary
school-age population, while the number of minority teachers has fallen from
11.7 percent to 10.3 percent during the past fifteen years, according to sources
cited by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1987).
The decline in the number of minority teachers appears to result from several
factors: increased career opportunities in other fields, a decline in higher
education enrollment rates by minorities, the growing use of teacher competency
testing (failure rates for blacks and other minorities are higher than for
whites), and a dissatisfaction with the teaching profession.
HOW IS THE SHORTAGE OF MINORITY TEACHERS EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES?
Both the National Commission
for Excellence in Teacher Education and the Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a
Profession warned that the decline in the number of minority teachers has
serious consequences for both minority and majority children. The race and
background of teachers "influence children's attitudes toward school, their
views of their own and others intrinsic worth," the Carnegie report stated.
According to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, "A
quality education requires that all students be exposed to the variety of
cultural perspectives that represent the nation at large. Such exposure can be
accomplished only via a multiethnic teaching force in which racial and ethnic
groups are included at a level of parity with their numbers in the population."
WHY IS MINORITY ENROLLMENT DECLINING AT THE HIGHER EDUCATION LEVEL?
Martin Haberman (1987) projects that by the year 2000 "only 5 percent of all college students will be from ethnic minorities." Even if
every minority who graduates from college enters teaching, minorities would
still be underrepresented. One of the most important factors affecting black and
Hispanic students' decision to attend college continues to be the student's
family income level. While the "secondary school graduation rates of minority
students increased between 1975 and 1983 . . . they have not been matched by an
increase in college attendance," reports the ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban
Education (1986). These enrollment declines reflect the cuts in the federal
financial aid programs (the major portion of financial aid available to low
income students is the loan program), inadequate high school counseling, and the
absence of systematic college recruitment programs for minority students.
Historically the majority of black teachers (more that 50 percent) have come
out of black colleges and universities. These institutions are under severe
pressures, and many may lose accreditation for their departments of education
due to changes in state requirements. The ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education
notes that "since 1978 the number of new teachers produced by 45 predominantly
black colleges has declined by 47 percent."
In sum, the central problem, writes Patricia Albjerg aham (1987), "is that
blacks in the U.S. are not getting as good an education as whites are."
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO CHANGE THE SITUATION?
effort to improve the representation of minorities in the teaching ranks must
address multiple societal problems. First of all, educational opportunities for
minorities must be improved at the elementary and secondary levels. Schools must
be made more effective at educating minority students. At the same time, society
must address the needs of families living in poverty.
Colleges need to develop better recruitment programs to attract minority
students to their campuses and help those students successfully complete higher
education degrees. There is a need for imaginative programs developed through
private and public resources to attract minority students to education. Federal
aid programs for minority teachers or incentives such as loan forgiveness for
minority teachers could be used.
The following ten programs were recommended by the American Association of
Colleges for Teacher Education for developing minority teachers: (l) A national
scholarship program for minority students who enter teaching, (2) state
scholarship programs, (3) targeted high school work-study programs, (4) targeted
college work-study programs, (5) a program stressing the need for better
articulation between two-year and four-year institutions, (6) assistantships and
grants programs, (7) loan repayment incentive programs, (8) support programs for
reentry and career changes, (9) special support programs for minorities
accepting teaching jobs in ethnically diverse communities, and (10) an
institutional grant program to research teacher evaluation models for ity
WHAT ARE SOME INNOVATIVE WAYS OF RECRUITING MINORITY TEACHERS?
Some school districts and training institutions, as the
following examples show, are making aggressive attempts to recruit and train
minority teachers. In the Wake County Public School District (Raleigh, North
Carolina) officials realized that the only way to solve the problem long-term is
to convince their own minority students to pursue teaching as a career through a
program providing college scholarships to minority students (Rodman 1988).
The University of Oregon has developed a statewide effort for recruiting
secondary junior and senior minority students into its College of Education. A
brochure is distributed to all minority students who took the SAT test and all
community college and high school counselors throughout the state. Special
recruiters from the College of Education also travel to schools with large
minority populations. In 1987 Oregon initiated a tuition waiver program for
minority students attending state colleges and universities.
Haberman, noting that "the largest pool of blacks and Hispanics is in junior
college," advises universities to establish linkages with local two-year
institutions. Another potentially fruitful approach is the recruitment of
midcareer minority professionals into teaching. The state of Maryland, for
example, is currently publicizing teaching opportunities to those about to
retire at military bases throughout the state.
American Association of Colleges for Teacher
Education. MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: A CALL FOR ACTION. Washington, DC: AACTE, September 1987. 18 pages.
Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy. A NATION PREPARED: TEACHERS FOR
THE 21ST CENTURY: THE REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON TEACHING AS A PROFESSION. New
York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, May 1986. ED 268 120.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education. "Increasing Minority Participation in
the Teaching Profession." New York: RIC /CUE, Teachers College, Columbia
University, ERIC Digest, Number 31, April 1986. 4 pages. ED 270 527.
Graham, Patricia Albjerg. "Black Teachers: A Drastically Scarce Resource."
PHI DELTA KAPPAN 68, 8 (April 1987): 598-605. EJ 352 274.
Haberman, Martin. RECRUITING AND SELECTING TEACHERS FOR URBAN SCHOOLS. New
York: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education; and Reston, Virginia Association of
Teacher Educators, November 1987. 71 pages.
Hatton, Barbara R. "A Game Plan for Ending the Minority Teacher Shortage."
NEA TODAY 6, 6 (January 1988): 66-69.
Johnson, Simon 0. BLACK TEACHERS: FINDING THEM, GETTING THEM, KEEPING THEM.
Paper presented at the National Conference on Preparation and Survival of Black
Public School Teachers, Norfolk, Virginia, October 1986. ED 276 689.
Middleton, Ernest J., and Emanual J. Mason. (Eds.) RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF MINORITY STUDENTS IN TEACHER EDUCATION. Proceedings of the National Invitational Conference, March
29-April 1, 1987, Lexington, Kentucky. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teacher Education, 1988. 153 pages.
Rodman, Blake. "The Fiercest Competition: 'Every System Is Looking', Few Are
Finding." EDUCATION WEEK VII, 19 (February 3, 1988): 1, 13.
Wilson, Reginald. "Recruitment and Retention of Minority Faculty and Staff."
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION BULLETIN (February 1987): 11-14. ED 280