Minority Teacher Recruitment Praised
WASHINGTON – “The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law applauds U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s commitment to increased recruitment of African American and Latino teachers,” said Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “I agree with him wholeheartedly that the underrepresentation of minority teachers, particularly males, is alarming. This lack of positive role models and mentors in the classroom is unacceptable and is clearly contributing to the dropout rate in Latino and African American communities.”
“As Secretary Duncan recently noted, unfortunately, many of our young men grow up in single parent families, without a strong, positive male presence in their household.” Ms. Arnwine added. “This reality cannot be ignored and we must continue to address the consequences of this. Also, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2008, of the approximately 48 million public school students in the United States, 7.5 million (or 15.5 percent) were Black and 10.4 million (or 21.7 percent) were Hispanic, yet the national percentage of African American and Latino teachers combined stands at approximately 3.5 percent. This is quite disheartening. Furthermore, the achievement or opportunity gaps in education need to be aggressively addressed and the Secretary is certainly making a step in the right direction in placing more minority role models in the classroom.”
The Lawyers' Committee, in collaboration with other national civil rights and education advocacy organizations, released a Framework for Providing All Students an Opportunity to Learn through Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) on July 26, 2010. This Framework affirms that access to high-quality education is a fundamental civil right, and praises aspects of President Obama's proposed FY 2011 education budget and the Blueprint for Reform setting forth the Administration's priorities for reauthorization of ESEA. The Framework document also provides recommendations for Congress and the Administration on strategies that we believe will more comprehensively address the needs of our public school students and ensure equitable educational opportunity for all. The Lawyers’ Committee continues to work with the Administration on this mutually recognized goal.
“We look forward to ongoing interactions with the Administration, Secretary Duncan, and members of his staff, including, Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education, in this ongoing critical national dialogue,” said Ms. Arnwine.
About the Lawyers' Committee
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment discrimination, voting, education and environmental justice.