Lack of Diversity in the American Teaching Force
The lack of diversity in the American teaching force has existed for over three decades, and is especially acute among the early childhood and elementary teachers. Schroth and Helfer explore how, over the past 30 years, the diversity of teachers in the United States has decreased, with fewer persons of color or men entering the profession. Exacerbating this problem is the rapidly increasing diversity of the K–12 student population, with over 50 percent of students now coming from low- socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds or being persons of color. This disparity is believed to be a factor in the achievement gap that exists between high-achieving students and those who struggle to succeed. While many teacher education programs have attempted to address this imbalance, few have been successful in doing so.