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Teacher Diversity Gap Poses a Steep Climb

Creating greater diversity in the teacher workforce has increasingly become a priority for school districts, state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and even the federal government. But a new report suggests that there’s still a steep road ahead.

The goal of reaching a broadly diverse teacher workforce likely won’t be achieved within the next half-century without substantial patches to the teacher pipeline, according to the report, a joint effort by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Students of color make up about half of all U.S. public school students, yet only 18 percent of teachers are of color. Research has shown that students of color benefit from having teachers who look like them, and proponents of greater teacher diversity say that it’s no less important for white students to see positive examples of nonwhite leaders.