Getting Teachers TO MIRROR Students

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Getting Teachers TO MIRROR Students


Byline: Madhu Krishnamurthy mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com By Madhu Krishnamurthy mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com

Elgin Area School District U-46 is the state's second-largest, and one of the most diverse -- 68 percent of its more than 40,000 students are ethnic minorities.

But they're being taught by mostly white teachers. That's reflected in a 45.7 percentage point gap between the portion of minority students and that of minority teachers.

While that makes U-46 near the top of suburban school districts with the biggest gaps in diversity between students and teachers, the district is hardly alone, a Daily Herald analysis of statewide school data shows.

Among suburban school districts, these diversity gaps range from a 10 to 75-percentage-point difference.

In East Aurora Unit District 131, which is virtually all minority students, there is a 71.4 percentage point gap. In Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, it's 40.6. In Naperville Unit District 203, it's 25.8.

In fact, only in small districts with low minority student populations are there not double-digit percentage gaps between portions of minority students and those of their teachers.

Districts with some of the highest percentages of minority students are stepping up recruitment efforts to hire and train more diverse teachers and support staff members to mirror their students.

Bridging that gap is high on U-46's priority list, said Melanie Meidel, U-46 assistant superintendent of human resources.

Of the district's 7,271 employees, 78 percent are white, 15 percent are Hispanic, and 5 percent are black. The district is reaching out to more diverse college job fairs to widen its pool of candidates, Meidel said.

Many suburban school districts are starting to realize they need to find more creative ways to recruit and retain minorities, while educating existing employees on understanding and more effectively communicating with students of different races and cultures.

Palatine Township Elementary District 15 -- which has a 44-percentage-point difference between its minority students and minority teachers -- has developed a diverse pool of program assistants, some of whom went on to become teachers in the district. The district also provides intercultural training for its principals, new teachers and interns, and is developing core curriculum supporting cultural diversity.

At Round Lake Area Unit District 116, which has the widest gap -- 75 percentage points -- between minority students and teachers, officials are now holding hiring managers accountable for giving serious consideration to qualified minority candidates for existing vacancies.

"With the exception of the administrators group, we have not been as successful in attracting qualified (minority candidates) who are underrepresented in the district," said Lee Palmer, executive director of human resources. "Moving forward, we must make a concerted effort to reach out to underrepresented group members and create a work environment that is both welcoming and culturally receptive, sensitive, and inclusive in order to facilitate a truly diverse workforce."

Few minority teachers

Experts say finding qualified, minority teaching candidates can be a challenge, and diversity education is an uphill battle against entrenched stereotypes.

Nationally, there is a shortage of minority teachers because not enough of them go into teaching -- partly because of their own negative school experiences and also because careerwise, there are more attractive opportunities outside the education field, experts say. Eighty-three percent of public school teachers are white, while blacks and Hispanics each make up 7 percent, and Asians about 1 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics 2011 report.

Illinois has only 11 percent teachers of color, while the statewide nonwhite student population is at 46 percent, according to a November 2011 report by the Center for American Progress. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Getting Teachers TO MIRROR Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.