Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where are all the black men in education?

Men in general, are not well-represented in the field of K-12 education, but black and Hispanic men are virtually invisible. I have personally only met a few African-American male teachers—one being the math teacher of the year—in DeKalb county schools, a system where over 70% of it's students are African-American.

Arne Duncan is calling out to black men, "Teach! Please!"

Duncan calls on black men to become teachers
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and filmmaker Spike Lee teamed up Monday to urge more black men to consider teaching.

More than 1 million teachers will retire during the next decade, according to federal estimates, and leaders have embarked on a nationwide drive to build a more diverse teaching force. Duncan on Monday took the campaign to Atlanta's Morehouse College, the nation's only all-male historically black college.

Teachers should look more like the people they serve, Duncan said. While more than 35 percent of the nation’s public school students are black or Latino, less than 15 percent of the teachers are black or Latino, according to federal figures. Less than 2 percent of the nation’s teachers are black men.

In Georgia, about half of the public schoolchildren are black or Latino, but only about 25 percent of the teachers are.

"Something is wrong with that picture," Duncan said. "We've got to fix it. We've got to fix it together."

Morehouse offers education degrees, but few choose the field. Of the nearly 500 students expected to graduate this year, six will leave with majors or minors in education, college officials said.
There are several programs available that provide incentives to choose teaching as a profession.  Many of these programs will erase college debt if you teach for a certain number of years.  Teacher recruiters are looking for qualified people to teach and lead our students in the future.  I hope that bright college graduates from all walks of life will consider a career in teaching, but male African-American role model are critical to the future of our students in DeKalb.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand how having more black men in education will help solve massive societal problems. I think the best way to help our children is with more parental involvement at home with an emphasis on learning and personal development.

Teaching jobs don't pay that well anyways, so you have to really love teaching and be a creative person in order to be effective. Enticing prospective teachers with loan repayment after 10 years of indentured servitude seems like a far fetched plan.

Anonymous said...

African-American males hold more than their fair share of administrative, principal and AP positions in DCSS. But our teaching staff is still predominately female. I'd love to see an administration with more women, and more Latino's, Asian's, Indian, etc.

We always talk about how diverse DCSS is, but the administration isn't, it's predominately African-American with some caucasian. The system's population is pushing ten percent and growing, yet there are only a handful of Latino teachers and no administrators.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:38

The powers that be at DCSS and external thereof have achieved pretty much the racial balance that they want. They are still working on trying to increase salaries of the administration to build an upper-middle-class. A similar demographic situation seems to exist in the County government. So,,, all of you non-minorities, sit back and enjoy the downhill ride. You paid for it and will keep paying.

Anonymous said...

as long as the color of a persons skin is more important than whats in his heart you will have war.The best man or woman for the job regardless of race.If you whant to teach then do it well if your doing it because your black then your as crazy as Spike Lee.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the white men in sports?

The new "Commissioner for Racial Balancing in Sports" announced today that every school, college, and pro athletic team should begin recruiting white males until they make up approximately 80% of the team. The Commissioner stated that the players should look more like the people who are watching sports. To further this goal, leaders have embarked on a nationwide drive to build a more diverse group of athletes.

Others have commented that something is "wrong" with the current picture in athletics.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits.

Somebody, somewhere, should be laughing.

Anonymous said...

I guess that being a white teacher I can never do anything right and I am in the wrong profession and I shouldnt have ever been born because I am born with a debt that I will have to pay my entire life for terrible tragic things that were done long before I ever graced the earth...

How about getting some parents involved in teaching and the classroom experience?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:25 - That's the funniest thing I've read on the blog!

You know, students respond to good teachers, regardless of the teacher's skin color or gender. I think the pressure on a black male teacher in some schools to be a father to all of his students would be overwhelming. My sons have had their share of black male teachers and some are good, some not, just as with their female teachers.

Anonymous said...

You are loco bro. Enough with the black this and black that. M to M re-segregated south DeKalb and ruined an area that, at one time, was the reason DCSS was one of best school systems in the US - 11th actually. Memorial Drive, oh I mean Cynthia McKenny Blvd, is an embarrassment. 25 years ago Memorial Drive, generated a HUGE tax revenue. M to M took it away as everyone moved. Any race other than black in DCSS is a MINORITY as DCSS is a 75% black system. Why then is administrator level and county level power position jobs close to 90% black. Equality works both ways people. Black black black. For a race that wants to get over the past, you sure do like to constantly use it as an excuse for ALL your shortcomings.
The guy is right about the white guy comment. What REAL future does a white person have in a black system that fights to stay black? Cmon...look at our central office and board members and their 10 year record. Embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree that it is qualifications that should count and not skin color. I think that Martin Luther King said that. But that is not how DCSS and DeKalb County are currently run. You will recall that only recently the County ex- CEO Vernon Jones and several of his henchmen who are still employed by the county were found liable for reverse racial discrimination. The County paid the judgment and Vernon's legal fees.

hypothetical question. Assume that there were two candidates for the DCSS superintendent's job, one African American and the other of a different skin color. And the one of a different skin color had somewhat superior qualifications. Who do you think will get the job?

Anonymous said...

I actually hope they find someone Asian or Hispanic so people can stop playing the B/W race card with regard to schools. As colorblind as I try to be, I really don't want the church to continue influencing DCSS.

Anonymous said...

After my 3 years of teaching in DCSS, I am left to wonder where all of the honest, hard working people in education and why are the children always shafted?

It's not about one's skin color or race, but how they care about the children, educate the children, and show morality and kindness as role models. This is what is lacking here in DCSS.

David Montané said...

Here is what one wise old black man has to say to the black community about education:


Anonymous said...

Touche Anon 7:25 PM. You should send that comment to Arne Duncan. Very funny.

Anonymous said...

I was interviewed and hired to DCSS by black people. I am white and not a teacher. I was heartened that the hiring group looked beyond race to fill my position. In terms of having more black men teach I agree. I would also like to see more men teachers. However, our society does not hold teaching in any esteem nor does a beginning teacher pay competitively enough to attract the best and the brightest who work for money alone. The Teach for America experience shows that if we look for the best and brightest who are not motivated by money alone then the results are excellent. However, the Teach for America young people are not trained teachers (still they do very well). The problem I see is that if you need to support your family and you are a very good teacher, the only economic choice you have is to become an administrator. The halls of administration are filled with people who were very good teachers. They moved up the ladder to benefit their families. Most people would. In Georgia the principal must make one dollar more than the highest paid teacher. I think that is backwards. Let the teacher make more than the administrators and let us invest in the future.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25

What about the diversity of NASCAR?
Daytona is right around the corner!

Now that's funny!

Anonymous said...

It's great that we have so many African-American males in well compensated DCSS administrative positions. But 1) we also need women, African-American women, Latino's, Asians, Indian, etc., and 2) it's no coincidence that's where the big salaries are.

Until the overinflated salaries of administrators come down, and we better pay teachers, especially master teachers, the gross salaries of administrators is going to be tough to resist.

Why in the heck does David Guillory and Philandra Guillory need to make in the mid-$100's???? Why can't they make a salary in the 70's, 80's or 90's? Why in the heck are Parent Resource Center staff, with no degree in education, making more then 10 year veteran teachers???

Pay our teachers and in school staff well. Pay our principals too, so those are the most coveted jobs in the system. All of the administrative positions and support staff are just that; they are there to support, not be the focus of the show. Other than the supt. and two or three asst. supt.'s, all of the other administrators should be making less than principals, and in the same range as a master teacher.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it says about DCSS when the majority of administrative positions both in- house and at the palace are held by African Americans and the system is pretty much in the basement academically. When the people in charge TRULY worry more about the welfare of the children (right now it's just lip service) in their care and less about advancing their own agendas or the color of someone's skin, we will see improvement. Demand that parents parent, deal head on with discipline problems-do not excuse or hide them, and stop with the quick-fix programs that do not fix anything (but may put a few bucks in someone's pocket)! There's so much we can accomplish with the right leadership and support, too bad we lack both at the present time.

Anonymous said...

DCSS' poor leadership has little to do with race and much to do about people with little teaching experience in positions where an understanding of teaching is paramount, nepotism, connections to New Birth. the fraternity/sorority connections, etc.

Ella Smith said...

David Montene'

Great article. Thanks for posting the link.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that much could still be accomplished if black men were involved as Big Brothers as part of the Boys and Girls Club and other similar programs.

That way the men could still support their families and be able to decide the balance between their families and those they are mentoring.

As a teacher much of that freedom is taken away.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to figure out a way to get the teenagers to stop having babies and start to re-infuse the family back into the culture... the article linked above actually starts to address this and I think that this is one of those issues that really needs to be tackled head on. (Even the mom who was just arrested for the bank roobery after checking her kid out of school -- or not -- with the 3 teenaged boys -- was 17 when she got pregnant if you calculate it backwards from her age and the age of her son..... -- the lack of a family and unwed mothers is the gigantic elephant in the room that no one is really addressing and we just keep providing programs- akin to enabling adicts).