Take a Look at Teaching is a union-led initiative to develop a robust, statewide educator pipeline in New York.

Educator Workforce Diversity

All students, in every community across New York, benefit from a diverse educator workforce. Yet, as New York’s student population has grown increasingly diverse, the teacher workforce remains 80 percent white. Consider these statistics from the State Education Department’s 2019 Educator Diversity Report:

  • While students of color are 56 percent of total enrollment in New York schools, teachers of color represent only 19 percent of the workforce.

  • Hispanic/Latinx students comprise 27 percent of student enrollment, yet 7 percent of teachers are Hispanic/Latinx.

  • Seventeen percent of the state’s students are Black/African American, compared to 8 percent of the teachers.

  • Attrition rates are significantly higher for teachers of color: Between 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, 22 percent of Black/African American teachers and 19 percent of Hispanic/Latinx teachers did not return to the classroom, compared to 13 percent of white teachers.

  • In 2016-17, more than 200 public school districts did not employ a single teacher of color.

Authentic Tradition

Declining Teacher-Education Enrollments, Increased Retirements

New York is facing declining enrollment in teacher education programs, increased retirements, and shortages in difficult-to-staff subject areas and districts, both urban and rural.

  • Enrollment in New York State’s teacher education programs has declined by 50.4% since 2009.
  • The NYS Teacher Retirement System projects that more than one-third of New York’s teachers are eligible or will soon be eligible to retire. State officials estimate districts may need up to 180,000 teachers in the next decade.

  • The U.S. Department of Education has officially designated about a dozen teacher shortage areas throughout New York, including special education, bilingual education, English as a Second Language, science, social studies, English Language Arts, literacy, world languages, Career and Technical Education and health science. Growing anecdotal reports suggest shortages in many other subject areas, with urban and rural districts experiencing the most difficulty with recruitment and retention.  

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