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Calling Black Men To The Blackboard


Travis Thanks for your views - a topic I am writing about on my blog, While retention is a core issue - attracting males of color into education is diifcult in an economic environment in which college graduate males of color have many choices, and, TFA "legitamatizes" teaching as a "brief stop" on a career path ... Does your research address the impact of black, male teachers on student academic achievement and other non-cognitive measures ....?

A friend of mine passed along this commentary after he read why I discourage Latinos from becoming teachers: I'm a Latino English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. This is my 19th year. It's interesting that Arne Duncan finds it wrong that we have a low number of black men teaching in black communities BUT he is fine with himself--a white, non-educator with only a bachelor's degree--leading our country's schools. Potential teachers need to know the realities of teaching. It's rough. If they're passionate, they should go for it but they need to realize that it will like be hard to transition out of teaching into something else--especially if they're Latino or black. The caveat for recruitment programs, like that movie TEACH, is that we cannot be like the military and blind Latinos or African Americans into believing it will be perfect, amazing, rewarding every day. Let's be honest with them. And allow them to decide.

Hi Peter, First, thank you for taking the time to read my piece. I do agree that the supply of potential Black male teachers might be limited due to some of the points you raise (e.g. low graduation rates, many more lucrative job options etc.). I don't think the issue around why Black men do not enter the teaching profession is about how to "attract" them to teaching. I wonder what percentages of Black men apply and are denied admission to teaching training programs. I wonder what criteria are used in the selection process. I wonder if we changed the selection committee if the type of students who matriculate into teacher training programs would also change. With that said, my piece is focused on exploring why Black men have such high rates of turnover. Specifically, I am curious to know what is it about how we organize schools that cause these men to leave in such high numbers, relative to their peers. While I did not look at the relationship of Black male teachers and student learning in my survey, I ask teachers to describe their perceptions of how boys of color experience school. I've come across one study, Thomas Dee's has done work on the benefits for children when taught by the same-gender and race teacher. In the book chapter that I mentioned in this blog, I detail how the number of Black male teachers in the building (e.g. loner or grouper) seems to influence the relationships boys of color have with their schools.


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