Using nationally representative data, this study empirically grounds the debate over minority teacher shortages by examining trends in recruitment, employment and retention of minority teachers. The study’s findings reveal that a gap continues to persist between the percentage of minority students and the percentage of minority teachers in U.S. schools, but contrary to widespread belief this gap is not due to a failure to recruit new minority teachers. The data show that efforts over recent decades to recruit more minority teachers, and place them in disadvantaged schools, have been very successful. But, these efforts have also been undermined because minority teachers have lower retention — largely because of poor working conditions in their schools.
The research presented in this report was co-sponsored by CPRE and the Center for Educational Research in the Interest of Underserved Students at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
Authors: Richard Ingersoll and Henry May
*Note*: Ingersoll and May also summarized the research findings from their study in a short article in the September 2011 issue of Phi Delta Kappan Magazine. Click here to download the Kappan article.