Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2017 Issue »

    Where Are All the Black Teachers?

    Discrimination in the Teacher Labor Market

    DIANA D’AMICO, ROBERT J. PAWLEWICZ, PENELOPE M. EARLEY, and ADAM P. MCGEEHAN
    In this article, Diana D’Amico, Robert J. Pawlewicz, Penelope M. Earley, and Adam P. McGeehan examine the racial composition of one public school district’s teacher labor market through teacher application data and subsequent hiring decisions. Researchers and policy makers have long noted the lack of racial diversity among the nation’s public school teachers and identified supply as the root cause. Using a historical framework and problem definition theory, the authors question this supposition and explore the issue as a function of demand. Investigating a unique data set comprising all of the applications for teaching positions in a single, large school district, they analyze the extent to which race is associated with principals’ hiring decisions. They explore the rates at which Black and White candidates apply for teaching positions and compare those to the rates at which they are hired and the school demographics in which they are placed. Through a logistic regression analysis, the authors present evidence of discrimination in teacher hiring. Ceteris paribus, Black applicants were significantly less likely than their White counterparts to receive a job offer. Further, they find evidence of workforce segregation: when hired, Black teachers were significantly more likely to be placed in schools with large populations of children of color and children in poverty or schools characterized as struggling. The authors call for researchers, policy makers, and school leaders at the district and building levels to examine hiring practices, which may be symptomatic of broader institutional biases, so that they may identify and eliminate inherent prejudices. 

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    Diana D’Amico is an assistant professor and fellow in the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation and a faculty affiliate in the Department of History and Art History and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at George Mason University. A historian, her research focuses on education reform, teachers and school workforce policies, and the social and cultural constructions of professionalism. Among other outlets, her work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal and History of Education Quarterly. She is currently writing a book titled Blaming Teachers: Professionalization and the Failure of Education Reform in American History.

    Robert J. Pawlewicz is an assistant professor of accounting in the School of Business at George Mason University. A quantitative researcher, he primarily researches the impact of regulation on auditing and financial reporting. His other work has been published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory and Current Issues in Auditing.

    Penelope M. Earley is founding director of the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation and a professor of education policy in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. She is the founding coeditor of the International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership. Earley coedited Why Public Schools? Voices from the United States and Canada and Teacher Education Policy in the United States: Issues and Tensions in an Era of Evolving Expectations (Routledge, 2011, with David G. Imig and Nicholas M. Michelli). She has also authored chapters in Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice (Routledge, 2005, edited by Nicholas M. Michelli and David Lee Keiser), Women in Academic Leadership: Professional Strategies, Personal Choices (Stylus, 2009, edited by Diane R. Dean, Susan J. Bracken, and Jeanie K. Allen), The Handbook of Leadership and Professional Learning Communities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, edited by Carol A. Mullen), and Women as Leaders in Education: Succeeding Despite Inequality, Discrimination, and Other Challenges, Volume 1 (Praeger, 2011, edited by Jennifer L. Martin). 

    Adam P. McGeehan is a doctoral candidate at the George Mason Graduate School of Education, where he studies education leadership. His work examines the hiring process in schools and the concept of fit. 
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    Spring 2017 Issue

    Abstracts

    Responding to “Cross-Pollinating Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning: Toward an Inclusive Pedagogy That Accounts for Dis/Ability”
    A HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW FORUM
    H. SAMY ALIM, SUSAN BAGLIERI, GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS, DAVID H. ROSE, DJANGO PARIS, and JOSEPH MICHAEL VALENTE
    Where Are All the Black Teachers?
    Discrimination in the Teacher Labor Market
    DIANA D’AMICO, ROBERT J. PAWLEWICZ, PENELOPE M. EARLEY, and ADAM P. MCGEEHAN
    Putting Race on the Table
    How Teachers Make Sense of the Role of Race in Their Practice
    AMANDA J. TAYLOR
    A Crime for a Crime?
    The Landscape of Correctional Education in the United States
    LYNETTE N. TANNIS
    Complex Sentences
    Searching for the Purpose of Education Inside a Massachusetts State Prison
    CLINT SMITH
    Critiquing Critical Pedagogies Inside the Prison Classroom
    A Dialogue Between Student and Teacher
    ERIN L. CASTRO and MICHAEL BRAWN
    The Problem Child
    Provocations Toward Dismantling the Carceral State
    ERICA R. MEINERS
    Harvard Educational Review’s Commitment to Justice and Equity at a Time of Political and Social Change
    From the Editors

    Book Notes

    Continuity in Children’s Worlds
    Melissa M. Jozwiak, Betsy J. Cahill, and Rachel Theilheimer

    An Everyone Culture
    Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, with Matthew L. Miller, Andy Fleming, and Deborah Helsing