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Changes to the racial and ethnic diversity of the student body have drastically outpaced diversity in the teacher workforce: students of color make up more than half of the public-school student population, but teachers of color make up only about 20 percent of the teacher workforce. And there are good reasons to be concerned about this “diversity gap” as evidence finds that teacher role models can impact student achievement. We’ve developed this tool to help visualize some of the potential reasons for diversity gaps. The tool models the effects of changes in the distribution of race/ethnicity of potential teacher candidates as they progress (or do not) through different “nodes” in the teacher pipeline.
There is growing interest in the distribution of teachers across students in U.S. Public Schools. In response to mounting evidence of the importance of teachers and the existence of “teacher quality gaps” (TQGs), the federal government recently directed states to develop plans to reduce inequity in the distribution of teacher quality across public schools. This data visualization is part of a broader project, funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and CALDER funders, that uses longitudinal data on public school students, teachers, and schools from two “focal states”—North Carolina and Washington—to provide a descriptive history of the evolution and sources of TQGs.
This data visualization follows up on the CALDER Explainer about teacher shortages in the United States, and provides a visual inspection of the trends in the production of new teachers at the state and national level. For this exercise, we utilize data from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for years between 1984 and 2016. College majors were categorized using NCES’ Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP).