Racial Gap in Teaching Profession?

Here’s a curious story in the Madison paper:

A new report shows the gap between the demographics of students and their teachers is not unique to the Madison Metropolitan School District.

While the gulf between students and teachers of color in MMSD is wider than the state as a whole, the Wisconsin Policy Forum published a report Tuesday showing it’s a statewide problem to address. The report, “A Teacher Who Looks Like Me,” details the lack of teachers in various racial and ethnic groups and explores what the numbers look like at each of the stages in the teacher education process.

[…]

In the 2018-19 school year, which the report uses for its statistics, 30.7% of students in Wisconsin public schools were students of color, while 5.6% of teachers were people of color. Ten years earlier, those numbers were 23.6% and 4.5%, respectively.

Locally, the difference is even more stark. In 2009, MMSD’s student body was 49.5% students of color, while its teaching staff was 10.2% teachers of color. In 2019, those numbers had widened to 57.8% students of color in the district compared to 13.6% of its teachers.

Follow the data. Here’s the full report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The complaint is that the racial makeup of the teaching staff doesn’t match that of the student body. This is true. BUT, the teacher workforce does more closely reflect the racial makeup of the population.

According to the Census Bureau, Madison is 78.4% white, 9% Asian, 6.8% Black, and a spattering of other races. In Madison, the teacher workforce at the Madison School District is 86.4% white and 13.6% other races. So the teacher workforce is slightly more white than the population, but the disparity is only 8%. There is work to do perhaps, but it is not as dire as the story tries to portray it.

Meanwhile, the student population in Madison Public Schools is only 42.2% white and 57.8% students of color.

What does this tell us? First, if we assume that the racial makeup of the student population mirrors the overall racial makeup of the population, it means that a LOT of white Madisonians are sending their kids to private or suburban schools. They are intentionally avoiding putting their kids in Madison Public Schools.

Second, it tells us that if Madison wants the racial makeup of their public school teachers to match that of the student population instead of the city’s population, then they will have to recruit nearly 60% of their teachers from less than 22% of the population. That’s a tall order. One might call it impossible without massive racial bias in recruiting and hiring practices.

I know it’s quaint, but perhaps we could educate our kids that people of all colors and genders are equal and have something to contribute. Perhaps we should teach our kids that how someone looks isn’t as important as what they do and say. As a dude, my education was provided almost exclusively by women. They didn’t look like me, but I sure did learn a lot. Would I have had a better education if the majority of my teachers were dudes like me? I seriously doubt it. When I lived as an expat as a child, almost all of my teachers were women of color and not Americans. Do I feel that I received a substandard education? Not at all. When I have had a substandard teacher, it was because they stank at their job – not because of their race, gender, or nationality.

Chasing an impossible goal of making the racial makeup of our public school teachers match that of the student population is an unattainable goal that has very little to do with actually providing a better education. It’s the content and quality of the teacher that matters far more than the teacher’s race or gender.

32 Responses to Racial Gap in Teaching Profession?

  1. Jason says:

    Here comes Foust, he will be talking down to you and educating you on your White Fragility if you get offended when he tells you that you’re racist in everything you do.

  2. Mar says:

    If you are a minority high school student, would you like to go to college and make decent money but could make more money doing many other things?
    If you were a person of color, do you want to enter a profession where you are in direct control of other minorities, where you can basically run the kid’s lives?
    From what I have seen in my experience, that is why many teachers enter the profession, to be controlling.
    Finally, if you are person of color, your fellow members of your minority community will consider you to be “too white”. That is a significant barrier of minorities to being teachers.

  3. Merlin says:

    MPS employees aren’t shy about populating private schools and suburban districts with their own children either. Why should they be? You only get one shot at raising your children. No respawns. No do-overs. You provide them the best opportunities you can and hope it’s enough.

  4. Le Roi du Nord says:

    “From what I have seen in my experience, that is why many teachers enter the profession, to be controlling.”

    From what I have seen in my experience, that is total and utter nonsense.

    There, an anecdote for an anecdote.

  5. Mar says:

    Well, coming from you Le Roi, I am sure your antidote is a lie

  6. Mar says:

    Antedote

  7. Le Roi du Nord says:

    No, Highly Educated mar, the word is anecdote.

  8. Pat says:

    “From what I have seen in my experience, that is why many teachers enter the profession, to be controlling.“

    Including you??

  9. Mar says:

    I see what you are trying to do Pat, and it is a nice effort.
    But, sadly for you, it’s not true.
    I worked with most severely and physically disabled students. They could not be controlled or manipulated.
    I was more of nurturer.

  10. dad29 says:

    Madison is 78.4% white…population in Madison Public Schools is only 42.2% white…

    About 1/3rd of the residents of a typical school district do not have children at home (in school.)  They grew up and left….

    So do a lot of Madistan residents send their chilluns to private/parochial schools?  Using the math above, the District appears to be short about 12% of the white-kid population.

    They’re not really “short.”  In a typical district, another 1/3 of the students are in private/parochial schools.  So Madistan’s district gets more than its share.

     

     

  11. Pat says:

    “I worked with most severely and physically disabled students. They could not be controlled or manipulated.“

    I’m sure it wasn’t for lack of trying on your part.

  12. Randall Flagg says:

    “I worked with most severely and physically disabled students. They could not be controlled or manipulated.“

    That really scares me coming from Mar, especially the tactics he/she must have used based on what I see in the blog.

    Since Mar somehow thinks I won’t acknowledge issues in school, let me say there is a serious issue with abuse of disabled children by teachers.

    There Mar.  I talked about an issue in schools.  Are you happy now?  I would bet not.  As a group Trump supporters are the most unhappy group I have ever seen.

    I was more of nurturer.

    Riiiiiiiiiiight…………………………………………

  13. Mar says:

    Well, Randall, my work expertise is different than my blog writing expertise.
    For instance, my students showed more ethics, compassion, work ethic and quite frankly, more intelligence than many people who write here.
    And yes, there is abuse of disabled students and I’ve reported it but the administration swept it under the table.
    But, continue with your hate of Catholics and continue to show your man love for the public schools.

  14. Pat says:

    Sounds like they had ten times the intelligence than their teacher.

  15. Randall Flagg says:

    Sounds like they had ten times the intelligence than their teacher.

    LMAO

  16. Mar says:

    Well, I will say this:
    They never lied.
    You cannot say that.
    They don’t hate.
    You cannot say that.
    They worked hard.
    You cannot say that.
    They pooped in their diapers.
    You can say that.

  17. Pat says:

    They sound like they were more well adjusted, in mind and spirit, than their teacher.

  18. Mar says:

    Gee Pat your up late. Mendota giving you some free time? Maybe you earned some extra privileges so you stay up watch TV in the dayroom while sucking down a pudding pop.

  19. Randall Flagg says:

    They sound like they were more well adjusted, in mind and spirit, than their teacher.  They also are way less mean than their teacher, have more compassion than their teacher.

    Plus look what I can do with Mar’s false post.  Replacing ‘You’ with ‘Trump’ makes it true.

    Well, I will say this:
    They never lied.
    Trump cannot say that.
    They don’t hate.
    Trump cannot say that.
    They worked hard.
    Trump cannot say that.
    They pooped in their diapers.
    Trump can say that.

     

  20. dad29 says:

    Well, Mar, I see that the Junior High Girls have teamed up on you–and to his credit, ol’ LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy hasn’t been part of it.

     

  21. Pat says:

    Hey Dud,

    How’s the intelligent dialogue going at your site? Oh yah, there isn’t any. You must enjoy talking to yourself.

  22. Le Roi du Nord says:

    Sorry dud, you are wrong again. I expanded his vocabulary.

  23. Randall Flagg says:

    Well, Mar, I see that the Junior High Girls have teamed up on you–and to his credit, ol’ LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy hasn’t been part of it.

    So, in other words, it only takes Junior High School girls to school Mar.  That may be too much credit (I would have gone with kindergartners)

  24. Mar says:

    Wow, lookee here. Three liberal trolls.
    2 liars and a racist.
    A very good representation of liberals.

  25. Pat says:

    And a partridge in a pear tree.

  26. jjf says:

    Pat, usually Dad29 saves his sexist statements for Sundays.  You know, because calling someone a girl is a total burny insult!

  27. Le Roi du Nord says:

    mar:

    Maybe you can take your humorous antedote/antidote story live at a comedy club.  I’m sure you can find a place, late at night, and in a red state, where the audience has a smaller vocabulary than you do..

  28. Pat says:

    Mar,

    You could go to http://dad29.blogspot.com/?m=1

    You’ll never hear a dissenting opinion there.

  29. Mar says:

    Well, Patsy is a girl.
    And can you prove Randall and Le Roi are not girls?

  30. jjf says:

    Pat, yeah, not a lot of commenters at Dad29’s blog.  I’d say it’s due to the general crankiness and lack of friendliness.  Maybe his demographic of old and more-Catholic-than-thou is growing smaller year after year.

  31. Pat says:

    You’ll never hear a dissenting, let alone any, opinion there. It’s just some old fool in a tin foil hat lathering himself up.

  32. Le Roi du Nord says:

    Well, I can prove it, but since mar doesn’t believe anything other than what trump tells him I won’t waste my time.

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