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Kitty Kelly Epstein

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The Whitening of the American Teaching Force: A Problem of Recruitment or a Problem of Racism

This article argues that the cause of the whitening of the American teaching force is erroneously understood as a recruitment problem resulting from lack of interest in the field among Latinos, Asians, and African-Americans; that the real causes rest on a racially skewed set of criteria for the initial selection of teachers; that the results of this selection system are far more damaging than is generally acknowledged, particularly for urban students; that the selection system has its roots in white racism, both institutional and ideological; that the erection of an equitable teacher selection system will require struggle by those adversely affected by the present system; and that an equitable and effective system would select candidates first on the basis of effectiveness in the classroom and would then require each to add to his or her knowledge base those elements missing in his or her undergraduate education.

racial breakdown of teachers, teacher education, urban students, racism

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 3 (2005): 89-102.