Keizer

Keizer, Oregon – White teachers and diverse classrooms: Salem-Keizer’s representation gap continues to grow

Keizer, Oregon –

While 58% of the district is made up of colored students, only 13% of teachers and managers are colored, widening the gap of 5% from the 2017-18 school year. Of Kaiser’s 300 teachers, only 24 are non-white, and two schools have pure white teachers.

A student at Kaiser’s Weddle Elementary School. (File photo / Keizertimes)

The Salem-Keizer school district continues to widen the gap in the number of color students and teachers, according to data released last week by the Oregon Department of Education in the 2020-21 school year.

While 58% of the district is made up of colored students, only 13% of teachers and managers are colored, widening the gap of 5% from the 2017-18 school year.

The disagreement between Hispanic students and teachers is especially large. Hispanic students make up 45% of the area’s largest demographic, while Hispanic teachers make up only 10% of all teachers.

“There’s a long way to go. When you actually compare the student association percentage to the employee percentage, this is an ongoing problem and we’re fighting every day,” said the Salem-Kaiser School District Director of Staffing and Recruitment. Bryan Turner says.

According to the 2020 Oregon Educator Equity Report, matching color students with teachers of the same race and ethnicity not only has a positive academic and social impact on them, but also white student color teachers. It leads to the improvement of awareness of. It is an important aspect of developing anti-racism in today’s schools and societies. “

Turner, a black man, talked about how the representative influenced his own journey to become a teacher.

“One of the most influential African-Americans in my life was Mr. Brown, a fourth-year teacher. He taught me what could be.” Turner said. “I wasn’t from a lot, but he was there and modeled it,” Hey, education is something for you and you can live a good life. “

Kaiser’s primary, middle and high school representatives are even worse than the entire district. Of the 300 teachers at Kaiser’s 11 schools, only 24 are non-white. Two schools, Gubser Elementary and Optimum Learning Environment Charter School, have pure white teachers.

In addition, of the 300 teachers, only one is Asian and no black.

“Have you made all the progress we wanted to point to the data? Of course not. It would be great if you could swing the magic wand and it was proportional to the number of students in the district. “Says Larry Ramirez, director of high school education in the district. “For now, obviously we’re still hiring, and to be honest, it’s hard to get a full staff, no matter what their background.”

At McNairy High School, Kaiser’s largest school with 1,811 students, 38% of students are Hispanic, compared to only 5% of teachers. That is, there is one Hispanic teacher at school for every 170 Hispanic students.

McNally’s principal, Eric Jespersen, said he knew that McNally had struggled to diversify his staff over the past few years, but continued to improve his representation between teachers and managers.

“Posting a (educational) position will cast this net and win applicants,” said Jespersen. “Sometimes we can hire diverse and great candidates, and sometimes those candidates may not be there. So another is if you are serious about staff diversification. It means that we need to think outside the box. “

According to Jespersen, one of the strategies McNary is using is to hire a more diverse and categorized staff. Classified staff includes positions that do not require teacher certification, such as office staff, administration, transportation, and educational assistance.

The school then works with classified staff to qualify and, preferably, become a McNally teacher.

“When (classified staff) want to be teachers etc., it’s a bonus for us because we want them to be incorporated into our system and support them with professional goals. “Jespersen said.

Using this strategy, Jespersen said the school hired three classified staff as teachers last year. All three of those hires were color teachers.

Turner said it’s difficult to hire more diverse staff in schools in white states like Oregon. To counter this, according to Turner, districts often hire from outside Oregon in states such as California to create a more diverse pool of applicants.

While this can initially increase diversity, Turner said it can be difficult to maintain these colors in schools, primarily in white towns.

“Where do you receive your culture and your cultural norms, mainly in white cities? It’s probably one of the biggest challenges for everyone, like 1-2% of the population, It’s a minority that moves to areas that become microsets, “says Turner.

Turner told his own story that he was hired to work in Oregon from outside the state.

“I was 30% of the population, but then 2% of the population. Different types to stay and stick to change to make it better for people who look like me We need to be determined, “Turner said.

News tips?Contact reporter Joey Caparetti [email protected] Or 616-610-3093.

White teachers and diverse classrooms: Salem-Keizer’s representation gap continues to grow Source link White teachers and diverse classrooms: Salem-Keizer’s representation gap continues to grow

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