In Colorado Schools, Not Enough Black Teachers

Excerpt from The Colorado Trust article by Chandra Thomas Whitfield:

“…Across the state, around 4.6 percent of students in the 2017-18 school year were Black, but only 1.5 percent of teachers, according to state education department data. The diversity gap is even more pronounced among Latinos; around 34 percent of students were Latino, but only 8 percent of teachers.

By comparison, 53 percent of students in the state were white, but white teachers represented 88 percent of the teacher workforce. Most teachers of color are concentrated in a handful of urban school districts. And among Colorado’s 178 school districts, state data shows that nearly 150 of them did not have a single Black teacher in the 2017-18 school year.

State education officials say they are exploring ways to recruit and retain more teachers of color.

In Denver Public Schools (DPS) in the 2017-18 school year, around 76 percent of students were students of color, while 73 percent of teachers were white, district spokesperson Jessie Smiley said. Blacks made up 13 percent of the student body, but only 3.7 percent of teachers, while Latinos represented 55 percent of students but only 19 percent of teachers.

The district said their latest hires, for the school year that started in August, are their most diverse yet. Still, just 232 of the 765 new educators are people of color.”

Read the full article here.