Monday, January 31, 2011

Arne Duncan On a Journey to Bring More Black Men to America's Classrooms

One in 50 teachers is a black male. According to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, “This is a national problem...when the nation’s teacher workforce does not reflect the diversity of its students." So what is Duncan doing about it? He is traveling the nation to appeal to students of color at colleges and universities to come make a difference in their communities through teaching.

Duncan said that if schools could increase the pool of mentors, drawing from the community as a whole, “mentors who could really get behind that child not at age 15, but at age 5, the impact could be powerful. We know in kindergarten which students are struggling. We don’t have to wait for high school.”  

Read the full article HERE


  1. What about when the norms used on normative assessments don't reflect the diversity of the students who are given the assessments? When the norm groups listed on the assessments aren't as diverse as the test takers, the results are invalid and unreliable. Yet, NCLB and Race to the Top are prepared to sanction or reward schools based on those invalid and unreliable scores.

    The problem is not just the lack of diversity in our teaching force. It is the lack of diversity in our assessment tools, in our administrative positions, and in our government. It is a systemic problem. I hope that Mr. Duncan's recruiting trip helps, but I think it is a temporary bandage on a wound that needs more serious attention.

  2. Jen,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment! It's true, the problem does go beyond the lack of diversity in our teaching force. Hopefully, Secretary Duncan's attempt to provide a more diverse group of mentors for students is only the beginning.