The Benefits of Minority Teachers in the Classroom
he shooting of an unarmed Black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 sparked protests across the nation and prompted calls for greater minority representation in the police force, city governments, local school boards, the teacher labor force, and other positions of authority. Racial representation in the classroom is of particular interest to education practitioners, policymakers, and parents. Many believe that minority teachers are best situated to counter negative stereotypes and to serve as role-models, mentors, or cultural-translators for students of color. Moreover, teachers who can relate to their students’ cultural background should be less likely to hold biased subjective views of their academic abilities.
In 2014, ethnic minorities constituted a majority of America’s public school students for the first time, with projections showing that the proportion of minority students will continue to grow for years to come.