Focus Policy Blog


Barriers Facing Teachers of Color (Part 1)

new report by the Center for American Progress has shed more light on the barriers and difficulties that inhibit diversification of teachers in the US education sector. It is widely known that the teaching force in the US is mostly comprised of white teachers. However,  the general US population continues to diversify. This report outlines how the current system is failing students of color and how that inadvertently shrinks the pool of future minority teachers. Various barriers exists starting from elementary level education to retention of teachers of color. All of these contribute to low representation on in the teaching workforce. Some of the data presented in the paper include:

  • African American students are less likely to graduate from high school and college, which serves as a major barrier to an eventual career as an educator.
  • The pass rate of Praxis I and II, major teaching certification examinations, are twice as high in whites compared to African Americans.
  • Teachers of color are more likely to leave the teaching profession, with the major reason being lack of support.

Adedotun Ogunbajo, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health