For the past week, we have been digging into Hofstra University’s “Teacher Diversity in Long Island’s Public Schools” study.
We looked at how the study shows we are disservicing our children, and followed up with how segregation in schools still persists, but something is still missing that connects these two threads together.
Which is the real crux of the study, and mentioned explicitly in the title – teacher diversity.
Let’s start by looking at this chart:
As a reminder from yesterday’s post, we are comparing the average student population and teacher distribution by race and ethnicity in these two stacked charts.
What this is essentially saying is this:
In an evenly distributed Long Island school system, the student body would look like the left column – relatively diverse – but the faculty would look like the right column – still heavily white.
If we could wave a magic wand and integrate the student body of every school to be more diverse so that all of our children can learn from each other and benefit from more perspectives, we would be unable to do the same to the same for teachers — for the simple reason that Long Island schools do not have enough diversity in its teaching faculty.
In our last post, we showed the study’s findings on segregation in student population by displaying their “Most White” and “Least White” schools.
How does that look for teachers?
Teachers in schools that are “Most White” are 98 percent white. Even in “Least White” schools, they are predominantly populated by white teachers.
And let’s look at the student population matched with its teachers.
In ‘Most White’ schools, the faculty is a great deal less diverse than its student population.
In ‘Least White’ schools, the faculty is more diverse, but the student population is heavily segregated.
The problem that we are faced here comes from both ends.
We have a heavily segregated school system and a severe lack of diversity within the pool of teachers.