New Data on Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania

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Publication Date
September 2018

Abstract

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided new data for 2016-17 that include the race and gender of the 155,854 teachers in Pennsylvania’s public schools. RFA compiled and cleaned the raw data and is providing, for the first time, a public dataset with the race and gender demographics of each public school, district, and county, as well as for the entire state of Pennsylvania.

The accompanying brief summarizes our analysis of the new data. Findings include:

  • Only 5.6% of Pennsylvania’s teachers are persons of color.
  • Pennsylvania’s gap between students of color (33.1%) and TOCs remains among the most disparate in the country.
  • Fifty-five percent of Pennsylvania’s public schools and 38% of all school districts employed only white teachers in 2016-17.
  • Elementary schools employed black teachers at higher rates than secondary schools.
  • Philadelphia and Allegheny counties employed 63% of all the state’s teachers of color.
  • Teacher/student race disparities in the Philadelphia and Allegheny county charter school sectors are similar to those of their closest school districts, with some notable exceptions.
  • Women comprised 73% of all teachers. This gap is consistent across all racial groups. Men of color comprised only slightly more than 1% of teachers in the state.

After you read the new brief, be sure to check out our April 2018 report, Patching the Leaky Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania, which highlighted research about the benefits of a diverse teaching staff, summarized promising strategies to increase diversity, and examined possible sources of “leaks” along the pipeline where Pennsylvania schools appear to be losing potential teachers of color.

Authors

  • Jason Fontana
  • David Lapp