Percentage of minority teachers decreasing

New state figures support a national drop in percentages
Friday, September 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:54 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

The percentage of public school teachers who are male or black is decreasing across America, according to a survey from the National Education Association. The same is true in the Show-Me State, according to fresh figures from the Missouri Department of Education.

Nationally, 6 percent of teachers are black and 21 percent are men, according to the NEA’s “Status of the American Public School Teacher.” The report uses 2000-01 figures.

Missouri ranks slightly above the national average, according to 2003 figures compiled by Janet Goeller, state director of teacher recruitment and retention. Among the state’s 67,826 public school teachers, 7.2 percent are black and 21.7 percent are men, she said.

The NEA said that the number of men and minorities in the teaching field has declined because there are more lucrative, less stressful jobs available.

Between 1991 and 2003, the percentage of male teachers in Missouri dropped 2.3 percent, while the percentage of black teachers dropped 1.3 percent.

“It’s not improving; it’s not getting better,” Goeller said.

Goeller said the numbers of minority teachers are increasing, although not proportionally to the total number of teachers, meaning that ratios are decreasing. “We’re losing ground because the proportions of male and black teachers are dropping,” she said.

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