Report: Teachers of color have increased but are also more likely to quit

Posted by Consortium for Policy Research in Education on December 18, 2018

New data paints a picture of an increasingly unstable teaching force of rookies

Hechinger Report Column by JILL BARSHAY November 19, 2018

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the fact that the U.S. teaching force is mostly white but the students in our classrooms are now mostly black, Hispanic and Asian. Although the latest federal data shows a dramatic surge in the number of black and Hispanic teacher hires, these same teachers continue to be among the most likely to leave the profession, with many churned out soon after they are hired and before they have a chance to develop strong teaching skills. “No, we don’t have parity,” said Richard Ingersoll, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who has been documenting changes in the teaching labor force. “But there’s actually been a massive increase in the numbers and percentages of minority teachers in this country over the last three decades. It’s actually sort of an unheralded victory. It’s all the more remarkable because minority teachers have higher quit rates.” Ingersoll and his colleagues at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education analyzed teacher and school principal surveys, administered every four or so years by the federal government, to paint a picture of the teaching force and highlight trends. Their first 2012 report tracked changes from 1987 through 2008. He and his colleagues have since updated these findings twice, in 2014 and now in 2018, with data through the 2015-2016, which recently became available.

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