Disappearing Black & Latino Teachers Reach Severe Levels in NYC Public Schools
Thanks to the decade-long dogged work of CPE member Sean Ahern and the research of the NYC Independent Budget Office’s Raymond Domanico, we have the latest stats (above) about how deeply institutionalized is the “disappearing” of Black & Latino teachers.
What’s hidden in these stats is the fact that Teach for America (TFA) now supplies 60% of New York City’s new teachers! And more than 75% of TFA teachers are white. Their average tenure within our schools is 18-20 months. Hence, they are not only highly inexperienced instant teachers, but cannot relate to most of our children and use their stay in our schools as mere career stepping stones to higher salaries in teaching elsewhere or in other occupations.
Our demand should be a very simple one: The NYC Board of Education should set up a 10-year program that guarantees Black, Latino and Asian teacher parity with the racial demographics of the student population. Several years ago, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence (BNYEE) offered a comprehensive outline on how this could be achieved:
Solving this Crisis of Vanishing Black/Latino Educators
Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence is advocating that we demand that the current Dept. of Education immediately take the (at least) $60+ million annual teacher recruitment budget as well as other parts of its bloated and misdirected budget and redirect that money to launch a community-based recruitment and education campaign that is structured around a two-year, four-year and eight-year strategy of reaching Black & Latino teacher parity that matches the demographics of the student population. This campaign would include:
1. Free tuition through graduate school for all those Black & Latino parents, college-bound high school grads and other adults who want to earn an education degree and commit to teaching at least five years within the NYC school system. CUNY, SUNY and private schools will be the participating colleges and universities.
2. The Board of Ed will pay for 50% of the full-time in good standing Ed major’s rent or mortgage and 30% of their rent or mortgage for the first 3 years of their full-time teaching status.
3. The Board of Ed have at least 10 full-time Community Teacher Recruiters in each Boro spending the next 4 years actively recruiting and enrolling potential educators from the Black and Latino communities.
4. Over the next 10 years, annually bring at least 100 retired Black & Latino educators out of retirement thru various financial incentive programs and enhanced new retirement policies including comprehensive FREE family medical (including full dentistry) coverage.
5. Institutionalize a Black & Latino Recruitment & Retention Commission and Program to help seek and keep the Black & Latino educators.
Of course, this broad outline will need more discussion and details. CPE and BNYEE welcome your ideas, visions and constructive criticisms.