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Keeping Black Men In Front Of The Class

Of all the teachers in the U.S., only 2 percent are black and male. That news is bad enough. But it gets worse: Many of these men are leaving the profession.

Just last month, a new study found that the number of black teachers in the public schools of nine cities dropped between 2002 and 2012. In Washington, D.C., black teachers’ share of the workforce dropped from 77 percent to 49 percent.

Now, a researcher at Stanford, Travis Bristol, is trying to figure out why black men are leaving the profession. Bristol himself taught high school English in New York City public schools; there he grew interested in designing policies that would support his male students, particularly boys of color. As a Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, he noticed a disconnect: While lots of attention was being paid to hiring more black male teachers, relatively little was being done to hold onto them.