The U.S. teaching force has become more diverse in recent decades, according to a new report released earlier this week by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Although minority teachers are still underrepresented, the percentage of teachers who belonged to all minority groups increased from 12.4 percent in 1987-88 to 17.3 percent in 2011-12. But the growth during the 25-year period was not even.
According to the report, the numbers of Asian and Hispanic teachers increased at a far higher rate than have black teachers, while American Indian teachers declined in numbers since the late 1980s,
Throughout the period measured, high-poverty public schools had the greatest percentage of minority teachers — with high-poverty schools employing 42 percent of all minority teachers in 2011-2012, even though they employed one-fifth of the teaching force.
The teaching force has also increased noticeably in size, making it the largest occupation in the country. There was also an overall shift in experience levels — with the total number of beginner teachers with five years of experience or less up by more than 250,000.