Something Must be Done About All the Nice White Lady Schoolteachers
September 12, 2014, 08:37 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

To this day, most public school teachers are Nice White Ladies, so something must be done, according to an NYT Room for Debate topic:

The teaching profession is dominated by women: Three-quarters of all teachers in kindergarten through high school are female, and in elementary and middle schools, women account for more than 80 percent of the educators.

What’s more, more than 80 percent of America’s teachers are white, even though minority students are expected to outnumber white students in public schools for the first time this year. How can the teaching profession become more diverse in terms of gender and race or ethnicity?

Education Realist points out that the Drive for Diversity stalled out due to earlier Education Reforms. Teacher qualification tests were toughened up in some states, and Congress passed a law in 1998 intended to drive out of business bad education schools whose graduates couldn’t pass the test. Instead, the ed schools, no fools, just dropped affirmative action and stopped giving out diplomas until students had passed the state professional exams:
Ed schools had been accepting and graduating students who they knew wouldn’t pass the licensure test, in the name of affirmative action. Faced with a threat, they sacrificed their ideology and commitment to collect money from underprivileged students wanting a college degree, and made a new rule: No pass, no diploma. …

The strategy wasn’t free. Ed schools couldn’t commit affirmative action, at least not as most colleges do. …

But alone among all the professions, the majority of prospective undergraduate teachers are now required to demonstrate that they have a given skill set (set by each state, much to the feds’ chagrin) at some point before they graduate. At the graduate level, they have to pass the test just to get in. Ed schools can’t use a different standard to accept black and Hispanic candidates. They are limited to those blacks and Hispanics that can both pass the tests and want to be teachers. And most ed schools aren’t selective, so those candidates are in, anyway...

This all came about because reformers and politicians had this bizarre delusion that the quality of the ed school had something to do with the licensure test pass rates, when in fact the licensure pass rates have everything to do with the quality of the student body.

So the 1998 law and the follow-on restrictions of NCLB, restrictions based on a profound underestimation of an average teacher’s intellect, didn’t even come close to having their desired impact. Meanwhile, the laws inadvertently took away the dream of teaching for many black and Hispanic teachers. The media steadfastly ignores this and wonders gravely where all the black and Hispanic teachers went.