To Diversify the Teacher Workforce, Start Early

U.S. schools today are experiencing a significant student demographic shift. Students of color are predicted to make up 55 percent of the public school population by 2024 (Kena et al., 2015). Unfortunately, the teacher workforce doesn’t reflect this diversity. For instance, in the 2011–2012 school year, 80 percent of teachers were white, whereas 51 percent of students were non-white. Black and hispanic students make up 16 and 24 percent of the student population respectively, but black and hispanic teachers only account for seven and eight percent of the teacher workforce, respectively (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).