Simple question. Which school has the highest percent of white teachers?
Would you be surprised if I told you that 15 of the top 20 are charter schools?
You might say: Wait, yesterday you said that charter schools’ staffs are pretty much the same as district schools. Well, I was only looking at charter networks. 13 out of 15 of these schools are independent charters, not connected with any other charter school.
Here are the top 20 whitest teaching staffs in Los Angeles*:
Why does this matter? I’m going to put a little of my own opinion here. Diversity in education matters – it provides a richer educational experience. That counts for both the student population and the teaching staff. When students have a diversity of teachers, they benefit from the wealth of experiences that each one brings to the classroom.
15 of the whitest staffs are at charter schools. I find that kind of shocking.
So let’s try to defend it.
You could argue that many (8) of these schools are affiliated charter schools, that have older staffs – staffs that were hired when the LA area was more white.
However, that doesn’t explain why several of these school’s became MORE white. Since 1998, Topanga’s staff is 2% more white, Sherman Oaks’s staff is 5% more white, Colfax’s staff is 6% more white and Calabash’s staff is 12% more white. So I don’t think the “demographic shifts” argument holds.
You could also argue that 9 of these schools have predominantly white student bodies, so its ok because they match.
But to me, that is no excuse. Schools should seek out diverse staffs so they can instill a love of diversity in their students. Again, just my opinion….
That does bring up an interesting question though. Are there schools with predominantly white teaching staffs that have a student body that is mostly students of color? More on that tomorrow…
*I’m only counting traditional schools (not special education schools or continuation schools) and only schools with at least 10 teachers (because below that percentages get kind of unreliable).