Supply and Demand of Minority Teachers in Texas: Problems and Prospects

by Sheila Nataraj Kirby, Mark Berends, Scott Naftel

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Teacher supply and demand issues are of critical importance as our society enters the 21st century. Over the next decade, there will be an increasing demand for new teachers-about two million-due in part to a dramatic increase in enrollments and high attrition rates as an aging teacher workforce becomes eligible for retirement. Where these teachers will come from and where they will teach is important to understand as our society faces increasing racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. Amid this diversity is a continuing concern that some racial-ethnic groups are disproportionately placed at risk. Thus, this article focuses on the supply and demand patterns of minority teachers, with special attention to teachers of students in high-risk districts. The authors analyze data on teachers from Texas between 1979 and 1996. They provide a variety of descriptive results-both univariate and multivariate-showing that while Texas has been successful in attracting minority teachers, it has a long way to go in attaining the goal of the Texas State Board of Education: to have a teacher workforce that reflects the racial-ethnic composition of the state.

Originally published in: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v. 21, no. 1, Spring 1999, pp. 47-66.

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