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Establishing a Center for Minority Teacher Development and Training
Unformatted Document Text:  Need for Minority Teachers The National Education Association reports that a historic turnover is taking place nationally in the teaching profession. Student enrollments are rising but more than a million veteran teachers are near retirement. Reports predict that overall, more than two million new teachers will be needed next decade. A metropolitan department of education indicated in one of its suburban counties, minority students represent 25.7% of the total school population while the total percent of minority teachers stand at 8%. In a neighboring county, minority student enrollment comprised of 21.6% while the total percentage of minority teachers was only 5%. There are not enough new teachers to replace the retirees, especially in consideration of the scarcity of minority teachers. Literature Review The literature is very clear that there is a concern that there is a need for and a lack of minority teachers. In a study by Donna Y. Ford in 1999 (Ford, 1999) found that 41% of the national student body was minority, but only 15% of the teachers were minority. From a recent New Jersey Report by the New Jersey Education Association (New Jersey Education Association, 2001) New Jersey public school teachers are working with 40% minority students, while the teaching force is 13% minority. Likewise, in Connecticut more than 25% of Connecticut’s public school students are minority, but there are only 7% minority teachers (McMahon, 2001). Pennsylvania has 22.3% of it student population being minority, with only 6.4% of its teachers being minority (Lee, 2003). In a report given to the legislature of New York State, 39% of New York State public school students were African-American or Hispanic while 17% of the teachers were minorities (The University of the State of New York, 2004). It is estimated that by 2050 about half of the national school age population will be minority, but there is no estimate of the number of minority teachers that will be teaching at that time (Williams, 2001). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004-05) employment outlook for teachers over the next ten years is good to excellent, and there will be an intensity to recruit minority teachers. There are several reasons cited for the lack of minority teachers. Minorities have difficulties passing certification examinations (Davis & Doig, 2004; Donnelly, 1988; Williams, 2001). Minorities now have career opportunities in other fields that seem more attractive than teaching (Donnelly, 1988; Gerwig, 2003). Minority students are often discouraged by family members to enter the teaching field (McNulty, 2000; Gerwig, 2003). Minorities have difficulties getting through the “pipelines” of elementary and secondary schooling and their school experience is negative (Williams, 2001; Lee, 2003; NEA Today, 2002; McNulty, 2000). The number of minority students going on to higher education is declining (Donnelly, 1988; Lee, 2003). There are several reasons why having more minority teachers is desirable. One believes that minority teachers provide minority students with a positive sense of cultural identity (McMahon, 2001; Donnelly, 1988; Williams, 2001). Minority teachers will provide positive role models for both minority and non-minority students (Ayalom, 2004; New Jersey Education Association, 2001; Ford, 1999; Lee, 2003). There is a belief having more minority teachers will provide more teachers for the urban areas (Ayalom, 2004). One study also shows that minority students learn better with a minority teacher (Dee, 2004)

Authors: Payne, Clyde. and Washington, Lizette.
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Need for Minority Teachers
The National Education Association reports that a historic turnover is
taking place nationally in the teaching profession. Student enrollments are rising
but more than a million veteran teachers are near retirement. Reports predict that
overall, more than two million new teachers will be needed next decade.
A metropolitan department of education indicated in one of its suburban
counties, minority students represent 25.7% of the total school population while
the total percent of minority teachers stand at 8%. In a neighboring county,
minority student enrollment comprised of 21.6% while the total percentage of
minority teachers was only 5%. There are not enough new teachers to replace
the retirees, especially in consideration of the scarcity of minority teachers.
Literature Review
The literature is very clear that there is a concern that there is a need for
and a lack of minority teachers. In a study by Donna Y. Ford in 1999 (Ford,
1999) found that 41% of the national student body was minority, but only 15% of
the teachers were minority. From a recent New Jersey Report by the New
Jersey Education Association (New Jersey Education Association, 2001) New
Jersey public school teachers are working with 40% minority students, while the
teaching force is 13% minority. Likewise, in Connecticut more than 25% of
Connecticut’s public school students are minority, but there are only 7% minority
teachers (McMahon, 2001). Pennsylvania has 22.3% of it student population
being minority, with only 6.4% of its teachers being minority (Lee, 2003). In a
report given to the legislature of New York State, 39% of New York State public
school students were African-American or Hispanic while 17% of the teachers
were minorities (The University of the State of New York, 2004). It is estimated
that by 2050 about half of the national school age population will be minority, but
there is no estimate of the number of minority teachers that will be teaching at
that time (Williams, 2001). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004-05)
employment outlook for teachers over the next ten years is good to excellent,
and there will be an intensity to recruit minority teachers.
There are several reasons cited for the lack of minority teachers.
Minorities have difficulties passing certification examinations (Davis & Doig,
2004; Donnelly, 1988; Williams, 2001). Minorities now have career opportunities
in other fields that seem more attractive than teaching (Donnelly, 1988; Gerwig,
2003). Minority students are often discouraged by family members to enter the
teaching field (McNulty, 2000; Gerwig, 2003). Minorities have difficulties getting
through the “pipelines” of elementary and secondary schooling and their school
experience is negative (Williams, 2001; Lee, 2003; NEA Today, 2002; McNulty,
2000). The number of minority students going on to higher education is declining
(Donnelly, 1988; Lee, 2003).
There are several reasons why having more minority teachers is
desirable. One believes that minority teachers provide minority students with a
positive sense of cultural identity (McMahon, 2001; Donnelly, 1988; Williams,
2001). Minority teachers will provide positive role models for both minority and
non-minority students (Ayalom, 2004; New Jersey Education Association, 2001;
Ford, 1999; Lee, 2003). There is a belief having more minority teachers will
provide more teachers for the urban areas (Ayalom, 2004). One study also
shows that minority students learn better with a minority teacher (Dee, 2004)


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