In an attempt to make schools more sensitive to diversity, the Department of Education appears to be encouraging schools to prioritize hiring African-American and Latino male educators over white educators.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Sunday, Education Secretary John King argued that white teachers are not as capable of meeting the needs of their students as their minority colleagues.

King asserted that the lack of diversity among America’s teachers has created an “invisible tax” that targets African-American and Latino educators.

This tax is not seen on a person’s pay stub but impacts teachers emotionally and mentally on a day-to-day basis, according to King.

“It is paid, for example, when these teachers, who make up only 2 percent of the teaching force nationally, are expected to serve as school disciplinarians based on an assumption that they will be better able to communicate with African American boys with behavior issues,” Secretary King remarked.

King continued, “Teachers of color often have higher expectations for students of color, are more likely to use culturally relevant teaching practices, are more likely to confront racism in their lessons and, yes, also serve as advocates.”

Women are more likely to enter the education field than men; It was recently noted that  76% of teachers are female.  Creating a more diverse atmosphere amongst the faculty at schools will be challenging since men are less inclined to become teachers and choose other career paths.

Focusing solely on a student’s race causes administration to lose sight of the needs of every student in the classroom and the quality of teachers that they hire. Educators of all backgrounds should be trained to meet the needs of all students who are struggling and not just one specific race.

Secretary King’s remarks are disappointing to those of us who believe white teachers are just as capable of educating minority students as minority teachers are of educating white students.

 

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