Black Teachers Matter

As we celebrate Black History Month, we pay special attention to the role  and diminishing presence  of Black teachers in our public schools.   

Today’s research speaks to the critical impact of Black teachers on Black students in particular: the dropout rate of Black male students decreases by more than one third when they encounter even one Black teacher in elementary school. Moreover, research suggests that Black students are less likely to face the harmful effects of the school-to-prison pipeline if they have Black teachers. Despite this, the Black teaching force is shrinking across the country, with the greatest drops in large urban districts like Boston. Boston, a majority–minority city, has a Black teaching corps of about 20%, well below the threshold required by its longstanding school desegregation order. Our Black teaching force is decreasing, and the number of Latino and Asian-American teachers is not growing meaningfully either. As a civil rights organization, we are keenly aware of the role that Black educators played in the civil rights movement. Indeed, their efforts to hold our nation to a higher standard are directly related to their efforts to hold all students to a higher one as well. We owe them our gratitude and continued commitment to see them properly reflected in our public schools.
Learn more about the importance of teacher diversity on NECN.