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Black Teachers in New Orleans: The Number of Them Has Plummeted Since Hurricane Katrina

These are not ideal conditions for talking openly about a sensitive subject. Yet the city’s experience over the past decade shows how important it is that we get over our reluctance—at times fear—of talking about teachers and race. In recent years, there’s been a robust conversation about student diversity accompanied by some promising, if very small-scale, efforts. Yet teacher diversity has not engendered the same scrutiny or debate, despite the fact that America’s public school classrooms are, for the first time, predominantly filled with students of color while the teaching corps remains overwhelmingly white.