Drawing on interviews with four new teachers of Color in San Francisco public schools, case studies of the Seattle and Boston Teacher Residencies, and decades of research, SFTR’s new report “Beyond Brochures: Practicing Soul Care in the Recruitment of Teachers of Color” identifies seven barriers people of Color face to become teachers, and offers recommendations for how teacher preparation programs and policymakers can address this growing problem.
Since 1954, more than half of the Black teachers working in southern schools lost their jobs, declines that are comparable in many northern cities including Chicago and San Francisco. While youth of Color compromise more than 50% of public school students nationwide, only 18% of teachers are people of Color, and this gap is worsening. Some estimates suggest that in order to achieve racial parity, more than 1,000,000 retiring White teachers would need to be replaced by Black and Latino teachers.
We identify seven causes for this gap, including:
- High cost of earning a teaching credential when compared to the relatively low earning potential for new teachers;
- Expensive and racially-discriminatory teacher entrance exams; and,
- School climates that are hostile to students and teachers of Color.
Drawing on interviews and research, we identify eight practices and policy changes that would result in a dramatic increase in the number of teachers of Color, including:
- Expand conditional admission into teacher preparation programs, coupled with increased support for people studying for entrance exams;
- Provide financial incentives to teacher preparation programs to diversify their candidates;
- Invest in high school teaching academies and paraprofessional-to-teacher programs;
- Increase the number of district-university partnerships, including teacher residency programs;
- Practice “Soul Care” to ensure that prospective and current teachers of Color can thrive.
Interviews with SFTR Teachers of Color
“Beyond Brochures” features in-depth interviews with four SFTR teachers of Color. We will publish their full interviews over the next several months which you can accessing below.