Wisconsin’s gap between teachers and students of color is growing.
Since 2009, the percentage of students of color in Wisconsin public schools has increased from 23.6% to about 30.7%. In the same time period, the percentage of teachers of color has only increased from 4.5% to 5.6%.
This is an important issue in public schools because without better representation at the head of the classroom, you get teachers who don’t understand the problems students of color face everyday.
For example, a white Sun Prairie sixth grade teacher gave students an assignment asking them “How will you punish this slave?” Obviously, that didn’t fly over real well and three teachers ultimately resigned.
Additionally, its been proven that a teacher workforce that closely mirrors the diversity of its students helps bridge racial achievement gaps in academic performance. This is especially important in Wisconsin, where we have one of the highest racial achievement gaps in the country.
In the Wisconsin Policy Forum report mentioned in the TikTok below, it was found that “improving the racial and ethnic diversity of Wisconsin’s teacher workforce is important for both students of color and white students. Many would argue that as they prepare to take their place in an increasingly multicultural society and workforce, all students, irrespective of race, benefit from learning experiences and relationships with role models from a breadth of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.”
In other words, its time for Wisconsin to make a push to bring more diversity to the classroom.