It’s not enough to recruit minority teachers, Neason writes. Turnover is high for blacks and Latinos. “Our schools are churning and burning teachers of color at unconscionably high rates.”
The number of non-white teachers entering the profession doubled in the 1980s in response to large-scale recruitment programs, says Richard Ingersoll, a Penn education professor. But minority teachers were 24 percent more likely to quit than their white colleagues from 1988 to 2008.
. . . minority teachers are more likely to work in high-poverty, low-performing schools where turnover rates are higher among teachers of all races and backgrounds. Working conditions in these schools can be more difficult given the challenge of teaching large populations of high-needs students with insufficient resources and chronic staff turnover. And many federal and local policies over the last two decades have aggravated these tensions — pushing out teachers and principals at “failing” schools or closing them outright, for instance.
On top of that, teachers of color often feel isolated or stereotyped, particularly in schools where most of the other teachers are white or come from a different background.
A few programs now work on keeping minority teachers in the classroom, writes Neason.
Several studies in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, for instance, found that teachers of color can boost the self worth of their minority students, partly by exposing them to professionals who look like them.