Photo: Denver Public Schools
In Colorado as the number of minority students has grown, the number of minority teachers working in the schools has declined – concerning students, parents and teachers alike.
Many educators and education professionals have always felt that minority teachers can better connect with minority students and their parents. Therefore the fact that in Denver 80 percent of public school students are minority and only 21.9 percent of teachers are minorities is alarming.
Statewide Latino teachers represent 6.4 percent of all teachers which is slightly up from 1999 figures of 6.1 percent.
The disparity is very obvious in areas where there is a large Latino population. For example, 58 percent of all students in Denver are Latino and only 14.2 percent of the teachers are Hispanic. In the Aurora school district, 53.8 percent of the student population is Latino while the Latino teacher population is 5.9%
The state is aware of the problem and is attempting to address the issue through cultural-sensitivity training for all teachers, and creating pipelines for minority teachers to be identified and hired.