Policy Report

Diversifying the Teaching Profession

How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color

Teacher working at a table with elementary aged students
Desiree Carver-Thomas
April 2018 | Learning Policy Institute
Teacher working at a table with elementary aged students

This report examines national data and recent research on the barriers teachers of color face to both entering and staying in the profession. The study finds that although more teachers of color are being recruited across the nation, the pace of increase is slow and attrition rates are high, leaving growing gaps between the demand for such teachers and the supply. Additionally, this report finds that while the population of teachers of color overall is growing, Black and Native American teachers are a declining share of the teacher workforce, and the gap between the percentage of Latinx teachers and students is larger than for any other racial or ethnic group. The report also examines how the lack of diversity in the teaching workforce impacts students, and it offers district and state policy solutions. Moreover, it includes recommendations intended to help policymakers increase teacher workforce diversity—an especially important strategy to advance greater cultural understanding and to combat achievement gaps.