K-12 Diverse Hiring Workshop

New Strategies for Recruiting, Hiring and Keeping Diverse Teachers and Staff: A Professional Development Workshop for Uncovering Cultural Biases in the Search and Hiring Process

In the last fifteen years, K-12 student populations have been diversifying rapidly across the country, and not just in urban population areas but also in suburban and even rural areas. In many communities, the percentage of minority students (African American and Latino particularly) has doubled with continuing increases projected in the next twenty years. The teaching and administrative staff, however, of most K-12 schools have remained predominantly white. In fact, according to the National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force in 2005: “Nine out of 10 U.S. teachers are white. Only 6% of instructors are black while the remaining 4% are from other minority groups. In a nation where 17% of students are black and 17% Hispanic, those statistics add up to a troubling lack of diversity at the head of the classroom.” (“What the Numbers Say,” Curriculum Review, Feb. 2005).

Ten years later, the number of diverse teachers and staff has not improved much while student and community demographics have become even more diverse with some K-12 school districts having close to 50% African American and Latino students. With the “window of opportunity” for diverse hiring opening wide in the next five years (40% of teachers will be retiring—the highest turnover since 1990), many K-12 administrators and policy-makers are scrambling to diversify teachers, administrators, and staff, especially since the growing gap between a multicultural student body and a monocultural faculty and staff has become an educational and community problem. For example, recent educational research and analysis identifies the lack of diverse K-12 teachers as a key factor in achievement gaps for African American and Latino students particularly.

Workshop Objectives

  1. To describe the rationale for and the benefits of diverse teachers and staff for students, the school, the district, and the community.
  2. To understand the common experiences, struggles, and challenges of culturally diverse and minority teachers and staff in predominantly white K-12 schools and districts.
  3. To analyze how the culture of a school or district could be creating an unwelcoming and exclusionary climate for culturally diverse and minority K-12 teachers and staff.
  4. To identity cultural biases in the recruitment and hiring process that might be discouraging or eliminating culturally diverse and minority K-12 candidates from applying, being hired, and staying in teaching, administrative, and staff positions.
  5. To identify obstacles and resistance to diverse K-12 hiring in the school, district, and the community
  6. To create new resources, strategies, and practices for recruiting, hiring, and keeping culturally diverse and minority K-12 teachers, administrators, and staff.

Workshop Design

At seven hours in length, this two-day workshop introduces four new paradigms for understanding, recruiting, hiring, and keeping diverse K-12 teachers and staff. In addition, participants have the opportunity to discuss diverse hiring, analyze their own school and district, make recommendations for change, and develop an action plan.

Topics Covered