Philly’s Black teacher pool is drying up
The already shallow pool of Black teachers in Philadelphia schools is evaporating at an alarming rate. District officials, who understand that increasing the number of African Americans in the classroom is one – perhaps the only – surefire method of closing the achievement gap between Black and White students, are scrambling for solutions. When school began this year, The Philadelphia Daily News reports, the percentage of Black teachers in the city was the lowest it has been in decades. And some argue that the dearth of African American teachers has put the district in violation of an agreement it made with the federal Office of Civil Rights three decades ago to achieve a racially balanced teaching force, the News reports. In 1978, more than a third (36 percent) of the teachers were Black. Fast-forward to now, and the number has dropped to 29 percent. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Black student body has remained 60 percent. While other school districts nationwide also have a paucity of Black teachers, Philly’s Black-teacher pool has shrunk by 739 over the past half-decade; the percentage of White teachers has grown from 62.5 percent to 65.4 percent over the same period. “Clearly, more must be done to recruit and retain African-American teachers,” said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), told the News. Reg Weaver, who heads the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher union, with about 3 million members, said that, “While race doesn’t determine anyone’s ability to master and teach a subject, research does show that teachers of color have higher performance expectations for minority kids, which in turn can impact student achievement.”
Racists terrorize a girl in Idaho. Federal investigators want to know what would motivate two grown men would go through lengths to terrorize a Black girl in the Idaho town of Post Falls. On Monday, 15-year-old Rai Franklin said she woke up to dogs barking outside her family home. They had been aroused by two White men who allegedly threw eggs at her parents’ car and left fliers in the neighborhood telling Black people that they didn’t belong in the neighborhood. Rai said that one of the men grabbed her, punched her in the face and fled while yelling racial slurs. Post Falls is apparently a short distance from Hayden Lake, the home of a compound where members of the Aryan Nations, a violent militant White supremacist organization, used to meet. FBI officials say that if the me are caught, they could face federal hate-crime charges.
Texas university isn’t cheering this student on. It doesn’t matter that Jamie Burns has let the campus off the hook, that her doctors have cleared her medically, and that her mom has said to let her daughter do what she was recruited for, officials at Southern Methodist University say that she won’t be cheerleading. Find out why at BET.com/News.