White Supremacy reigns in Georgia’s K-12 Teacher Workforce
By Kevin Palmer
The racial make-up of Georgia’s K-12 teacher workforce does not reflect the student population. The Georgia Office of Student Achievement, 2017 Georgia K-12 Teacher and Leader Workforce Report Executive Summary, states “The majority (approximately 60%) of teacher and leader workforce was white. The share of Black leaders (34%) was larger than the share of Black teachers (21%).” However, the student population is 40% white and 37% Black.
Furthermore, the summary states, in 2017 “6,233 teachers (6% of all teachers) were new teachers consisting of 22.1% Black and 52.1% white.” Apparently, there is a conscious decision to maintain white teacher dominance since workforce racial percentages do not align with student racial population percentages. Indeed, there is even racial bias in teacher school assignments.
According to the summary, ‘High poverty schools had significantly larger shares of Black teachers and leaders and significantly smaller shares of white teachers and leaders compared to low poverty schools. ” This example of white privilege makes it easier for white teachers to earn their paycheck with less stress and more resources. Conversely, this practice has had an adverse effect on the mobility and retention of less experienced Black teachers and leaders.
In 2017, “High poverty schools had more teachers and leaders changing schools than teachers and leaders in low poverty schools. Also, the retention rate for teachers and leaders with five or fewer years of experience is three percentage points and eleven percentage points lower, respectively, than the retention rate for all teachers and leaders.”
Thus, Georgia’s K-12 education system is anything but post racial.