There are real challenges when it comes to diversifying the teacher workforce, one of them being that lower rates of Black and Hispanic students consider a career in teaching. But the tide may be turning. A dive into a few federal databases finds rising interest in teaching among Black and Hispanic college students, actually outstripping the interest of their white peers.
Following the 2008 Great Recession, overall enrollment in teacher prep rapidly declined and has only recently started to tick back upward. When we pull apart enrollment data by race, however, we can see a consistent trend upward since 2014 by Black and Hispanic individuals.
Enrollment levels for candidates of color are still below where they were before the Great Recession drop, but they're heading in the right direction.
But enrollment data in teacher prep only tells us so much. What matters more is how many of these candidates take a teaching job, with some data showing 50% of all prep program completers not taking a teaching job after they leave their program. Some relatively new Baccalaureate & Beyond survey data suggests that a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic college graduates are going on to teach, compared with their white classmates.
Note: These data are based on 2008 graduates interviewed in 2012, and on 2016 graduates interviewed in 2017. Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, B&B:17 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study; 2008/12 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/12).
To see which teacher prep programs are making strides toward building a more diverse teacher workforce, see NCTQ's newly released report on Program Diversity and Admissions.