This booklet, The Need for More Teachers of Color, was released as part of a Teach-In hosted by Research for Action on April 23, 2022, in FDR Park in Philadelphia. The booklet provides highlights of findings from RFA’s past studies, newly updated with 2020 -21 data to provide the most recent analysis of the state of teacher diversity in Pennsylvania as a whole and specifically in Philadelphia. We also include several new analyses to fill in existing knowledge gaps, including examination of how teacher diversity has changed in Philadelphia over the past 20 years.
Among key findings are that Philadelphia public schools, district, and charter schools combined, employed nearly 1,200 fewer Black teachers in 2020-21 than they did 20 years ago, even as the number of teachers has increased for other race or ethnicity subgroups.
As with prior reports on teacher diversity, this project relied on data received via records requests from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that RFA cleaned and merged with publicly reported student data to calculate the percentages of teachers and students by race/ethnicity and gender at the state, county, district, and school levels for all Pennsylvania public schools. The full eight years of data RFA prepared is available for download here:
Those interested in learning more can review RFA’s prior studies of teacher diversity, including:
- Patching the Leaky Pipeline: This April 2018 brief examines the leaks in Pennsylvania’s teacher pipeline contributing to a lack of diversity and highlights promising practices found across the country that could increase teacher diversity.
- New Data on Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania: This September 2018 brief presented RFA’s first analysis of data received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania from 2013-14 to 2019-20: This December 2020 report presents the findings of RFA’s examination of seven years of teacher demographic data in Pennsylvania.
- FAQ: Allegheny County Teachers of Color: This April 2021 FAQ examines the state of teacher diversity in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
- Final Report: Evaluation of the Aspiring to Educate Philadelphia Pilot: This September 2021 report provided RFA’s evaluation of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s A2E pilot, which was designed to diversify and develop the teacher workforce. The report describes the goals and overall structure of the pilot; activities that took place; highlights and innovations; and learnings that can inform the creation of similar initiatives.