They do however, have high rates of disciplinary problems and many all-Black schools have a high rate of teenage moms up for casting on MTV's Teen Mom show.
If white kids and Asians continue to excel, won't that only perpetuate the racial gap in learning? To rectify this problem, organizations like Teach for America are recruiting the top graduates from Ivy League schools away from Wall Street and law school to instead accept two-year contracts to bring CWP-style teaching to the inner cities of America.
Heroism - as we learned - is something Black and Hispanic people in America do at a rate double that of lowly white people. It was deduced in that entry that roughly 88 percent of teachers in America are white, though 44 percent of the students K-12 are non-white (As an aside, in the South, more than 50 percent of students get free lunches, a number that will only increase as the non-white population rises).
Perhaps if only more Black people were teachers, then Black pupils would put up better academic results. Maybe if people are segregated by race in homeroom with positive mentors of the same race, then academic results will improve.
Atlanta City Schools currently are under probation for a lack of institutional control after a huge cheating scandal led overwhelmingly by Black teachers, principals and the Board of Education was uncovered. A panel was held in Atlanta to discuss how to save an ever growing lost generation of Black students who have a greater chance of landing in prison then they do graduating from college. Spike Lee said Black male teachers are needed to offer positive role models to Black school children:
On Monday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan renewed his call for more black men to pick up the chalk and teach.
Joined by filmmaker Spike Lee, Duncan issued the invitation during a town hall meeting and panel discussion hosted by Morehouse College and moderated by MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson. The event was part of the Department of Education’s TEACH campaign, designed to raise awareness of the teaching profession and get a new generation of teachers to join the ones who are already making a difference in the classroom.
The AP reports that Duncan told the crowd that black males make up less than 2 percent of the country’s 3 million teachers, and that the nation is facing a severe teacher shortage as the current workforce ages. Addressing the racial disparities in education will demand a national teaching corps that’s equipped to understand and meet the needs of black and Latino kids, and educators play a unique role in influencing and shaping young people’s lives. It’s a message Duncan is diligent about slipping in whenever he can. Latino and black males make up just 3.5 percent of America’s teachers, Duncan’s said.
At a speech Duncan gave at a gathering of the National Council of La Raza last year he told the crowd: “I want to encourage you to develop a new generation of Hispanic teachers. Twenty percent of all public school students in the U.S. are Latino. But only 5 percent of their teachers are Latino. In Chicago, the numbers are just as lopsided—41% of students are Latino but only 15% of teachers are Hispanic.”
For all the controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s education reform policies, this is a legitimately, unequivocally positive message to send to young people. There is a body of research that suggests what is perhaps fairly intuitive: a teacher’s race matters, and kids of color take in information differently when there’s a teacher of color at the front of the room.
Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced TEACH, a national campaign to increase the number of African-American and Latino males being prepared as PK-12 classroom teachers. Nearly 40 percent of public school students are African-American or Latino. In many school districts this statistic hovers above 90 percent. Yet, less than 8 percent of the nation's teachers are African-American and fewer than 4 percent are Hispanic/Latino. In schools inside central cities, 73 percent of teachers are white. In urban schools outside of central cities, 91 percent of public school teachers are white.
The shortage of black male teachers compounds the difficulties that many African American boys face in school. About half of black male students do not complete high school in four years, statistics show. Black males also tend to score lower on standardized tests, take fewer Advanced Placement courses and are suspended and expelled at higher rates than other groups, officials said.
Educators said black male teachers expose students to black men as authority figures, help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors.
Trevor Garfield is a black high school science teacher at Roosevelt Whitney High School, a high school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. A gangster student to whom he had given a failing grade threatens to murder him, writing the number 187 on every page of one of Garfield's textbooks. The administration ignores the threat, and the thug ambushes Garfield in the hallway, stabbing him in the back and side abdominal area multiple times with a shiv.
Fifteen months after surviving from the ordeal, Garfield, now a substitute teacher, has relocated to John Quincy Adams High School in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, but the trouble starts again when he becomes a substitute to a rowdy, unruly class of rejects, including a Chicano tag crew by the name of "Kappin' Off Suckers" (K.O.S.). Their leader, Benito "Benny" Chacón, a menacing felon attending high school as a condition of probation, makes it clear to Garfield that there will be no mutual respect between them.
The tension mounts when a fellow teacher, Ellen Henry, confides that Benny has threatened her life, an action against which the administration of the school refuses to take action, fearing legal threats. Ellen and Garfield develop a close friendship that approaches the beginnings of a relationship, but which is stymied by Garfield's diffident and destabilizing behavior, likely arising from PTSD and his confrontations with the K.O.S.. Garfield's past also garners him the unwanted admiration of Dave Childress, a burned-out, alcoholic history teacher who carries and keeps guns at the school.
Most DWLs have never set foot in an inner city school, walked through the metal detectors, talked to the multiple resource officers on hand to keep law and order at the school or seen the worn-out faces of white teachers who entered that same building full of optimism and hope only to be broken by a reality no one dares acknowledge.
Until he decides to play Russian Roulette. Isn't that what the traditional majority of America has been doing under Black Run America? Every time a concession is made, the hope that the inevitable "And Then?" won't follow is akin to playing a treacherous game of Russian Roulette.
CNN video on Black teachers can be watched here.