In Washington state’s public school system, according to Northwest Public Broadcasting, half of students are non-white. However, the overwhelming majority of public-school teachers identify as white (about 80% nationwide). This imbalance has caused some leftists to believe that Washington state is facing a diversity crisis in the classroom.
To support their viewpoint, they cite a Brookings Institute study that suggests minority teachers can help schools integrate a more culturally competent curriculum, declaring that non-white students learn better and are set to higher standards when taught by non-white educators. They believe that less white teachers would increase graduation rates and test scores of non-white students. However, the study fails to mention whether white students learn better with white teachers.
Maria Flores, Director of Title 2 and Special Programs at Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, states…
“It’s problematic because our students of color don’t see folks that look like them that and might also have that shared life experiences. We find through the research that there is a positive effect that happens with students that are in schools that actually represents what their communities look like.”
According to Ibelia Avalos, a teacher, providing teacher cohorts would increase diversity among the teacher populous, and thus, help non-white students learn better in the classroom.
Edmonds School District, a Snohomish County school in Washington state, has already developed a plan to hire fewer white teachers, according to a local news station. Approximately half of the students are non-white, but 8 out of every 9 teachers are white. To help achieve their goal of more non-white teachers and fewer white teachers, the school district is offering a Teachers of Color Scholarship, which will pay for the educational expenses of the winning recipient.
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