If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover.

Research Rundown Issue: November '19
Publisher: The Education Trust and Teach Plus
Date Published: September '19


From a series of focus groups, the Education Trust and Teach Plus identified five common challenges that teachers of color face in their schools: antagonistic school culture, feeling undervalued, being deprived of agency and autonomy, unfavorable work conditions, and high costs (both financial and psychological) of being a teacher of color. After examining the experiences of teachers of color who work in schools that deliberately work to retain them, the report offers four recommendations on how state, district, and school leaders can better retain teachers of color, touching on everything from financial supports to leadership to school culture.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

Since 1991, Minnesota has spent over $60 million on policy efforts to increase teacher diversity. Despite these efforts, the number of teachers of color in Minnesota has increased very little. In 2006, 3.5% of teachers identified as teachers of color, and by 2018, this number had only grown to 4.3%. This is significant because research has found that when students of color have teachers of color they are more likely to be placed in gifted programs, graduate from high school, feel more cared for, and are less likely to experience disciplinary referrals. Leveraging the report’s findings could help Minnesota invest in strategies most likely to move the needle on teacher diversity.

Read the full report