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Effective school district recruitment strategies of African American teachers

Dissertation
Author: Christopher P. Watkins
Abstract:
There has been a continual decline in the number of available minority group teachers to supply America's public school for the past six decades. Several factors were noted for this decline which included better opportunities for minority advancement in other professions, low teacher salaries, the low prestige and status of teaching, institutional racism, and challenges with teacher certification and state licensure exams. The purpose of this study was to identify strategies used by school district officials to increase African American teacher hiring in Georgia. This study examined the district strategies that were implemented to recruit and hire minority teachers and the challenges the districts encountered in recruiting African American teachers in Georgia. The researcher examined the Certified Personnel Index data from the 180 public school districts in Georgia to determine which districts had at least 5% growth in African American teacher hiring from 2000-2007. Initially, criteria sampling was used and sixteen districts met the criteria. Purposeful sampling was also used to select nine school districts to participate in this study. The nine school districts included three rural districts, three urban districts, and three suburban districts. The geographical location of the districts consisted of two in South Georgia, three in Middle Georgia, and four in North Georgia. In the findings of this study, there were sixteen district recruitment strategies used and eleven district challenges mentioned by respondents regarding African American teacher recruitment and hiring. The recruitment strategies and challenges were similar in comparable districts based on size and geographical location. Rural, suburban, and urban districts had similar strategies and challenges. The North Georgia districts tended to use somewhat similar strategies and faced similar challenges. The Middle Georgia districts also tended to be similar in use of strategies and the challenges faced by the district. However, there was a noticeable difference in the two South Georgia districts with one being a small rural district and the other being a large urban district. Three district strategies were noted by all participants including college and university partnerships, job fairs, and the use of the Teach Georgia state recruitment website. All participants mentioned a tight budgetary constraint in a struggling economy as the most prevalent challenge in their districts. Five districts also named salary competition and teacher recruitment competition as a major challenge in its overall recruitment plans. The researcher drew two conclusions from the findings. First, there was little difference in African American teacher recruitment strategies and overall teacher recruitment used by the selected districts. Second, there was little difference in the challenges that districts faced with African American teacher recruitment and overall teacher recruitment. INDEX WORDS: African American teacher, Teacher recruitment, Teacher hiring, District teacher recruitment strategies

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page DEDICATION .....................................................................................................................6 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................................................................................7 LIST OF TABLES .............................................................................................................13 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................14 Statement of Problem ..................................................................................19 Research Questions .................................................................................... 20 Significance of the Study ............................................................................20 Research Procedures ....................................................................................22 Population ....................................................................................................23 Instrumentation and Data ............................................................................23 Data Analysis ..............................................................................................23 Delimitations of the Study ...........................................................................24 Limitations of the Study ..............................................................................24 Definitions of Key Terms ............................................................................24 Summary .....................................................................................................25 II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ...................................................................27 Introduction .................................................................................................27 Case for Students Having Teachers of their Own Ethnicity .......................28 Factors Contributing To Decline in Number of Minority Teachers ............32 Low Teacher Salaries ..................................................................................34

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Low Status and Prestige of Teaching ..........................................................35 Institutional Racism .....................................................................................36 Teacher Licensure and Certification Testing ..............................................37 Strategies for Increasing Minority Teacher Recruitment /Employment .....40 District and University Collaboration .........................................................41 Tapping the Paraprofessional Pool ..............................................................44 Teacher Mentoring Programs ......................................................................45 Alternative Certification Programs .............................................................46 Use of Financial Incentives .........................................................................47 Recruitment at HBCUs and Community Colleges ......................................48 Contemporary Views of Teaching in the 21 st Century ................................50 Recognizing Discrimination ........................................................................50 African American Teachers‟ Viewpoints and Perspectives ........................52 Eliminating Stereotypes ..............................................................................54 Development of A Culturally Relevant Curriculum ...................................56 Minority Students‟ Perceptions of Their Teachers ......................................61 Promoting Diversity in K-12 Schools .........................................................66 Summary ....................................................................................................70 III METHODOLOGY ..........................................................................................72 Introduction .................................................................................................72 Qualitative Theory .......................................................................................74 Research Questions .....................................................................................77 Research Design ..........................................................................................77

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Population ....................................................................................................78 Participants ..................................................................................................78 Sample .........................................................................................................78 Instrumentation ............................................................................................79 Data Collection ............................................................................................79 Data Analysis ..............................................................................................81 Summary .....................................................................................................81 4 REPORT OF DATA AND DATA ANALYSIS .............................................83 Introduction .................................................................................................83 Research Questions .....................................................................................83 Research Design ..........................................................................................83 Participants ..................................................................................................84 Findings…………………………………………………………………...85 Effective School District Recruitment Strategies ........................................85 District Partnership with Colleges and Universities ....................................86 Job Fairs ......................................................................................................87 Use of Teach Georgia Website ....................................................................88 Grow Your Own Strategies .........................................................................88 District Teacher Recruitment Website .......................................................90 Targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities ............................91 Word of Mouth ............................................................................................92 Alternative Teacher Certification Programs ................................................92 Using Regional Education Services Agencies ...........................................94

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Teacher and Administrator Recruitment .....................................................95 Advertising ..................................................................................................96 Tapping the Paraprofessional Pool ..............................................................97 Teacher Pay Incentives ................................................................................99 Title I and other Academic Incentives ......................................................100 Use of Federal Funding ............................................................................100 Recruitment of Military Personnel and Military Spouses .........................101 District Teacher Recruitment Challenges ..................................................101 Tight Budgetary Constraints in a Struggling Economy ............................102 Salary Competition with other School Districts ........................................102 Geographical Location ..............................................................................103 Small or No Human Resources Department .............................................104 Teacher Recruitment Competition with other Districts ............................105 Reductions in Force ...................................................................................106 Lack of Highly Qualified Applicants ........................................................106 Limited African American Teacher Applicant Pool .................................107 Few Local African American College Graduates .....................................107 Low Job Vacancy and Teacher Turnover Rate .........................................108 Mobility of Society ....................................................................................108 Summary ...................................................................................................109 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS .............................124 Introduction ...............................................................................................124 Summary of Research Findings ................................................................125

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Discussion of Research Findings ..............................................................129 Conclusions ...............................................................................................135 Implications ...............................................................................................137 Recommendations for Future Research Study ..........................................138 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................139 APPENDICES .................................................................................................................150 A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL LETTER ....................151 B INORMED CONSENT LETTER .................................................................153 C INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ...........................................................................156

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LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1: Participant Demographic Profile Summary ………………........................... 111 Table 2: African American Teacher Percentage Changes in Selected Districts .............112 Table 3: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2000) ........ 113 Table 4: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2001) ..........114 Table 5: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2002) ..........115 Table 6: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2003) ..........116 Table 7: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2004) ..........117 Table 8: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2005) ..........118 Table 9: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2006) ..........119 Table 10: Districts with at least 5% growth in African American Teachers (2007) ........120 Table 11: Summary of Effective District Recruitment Strategies Numbers 1-8 .............121 Table 12: Summary of Effective District Recruitment Strategies Numbers 9-16 ...........122 Table 13: Summary of Eleven Challenges Encountered by Selected Districts ...............123

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Many research studies were conducted on minority teacher shortages and state and national minority teacher recruitment efforts. Researchers noted a sharp decline in the number of minority teachers in the United States since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Several factors were suggested to explain this decline, including better opportunities for advancement in other professions, low salaries for beginning teachers, institutional racism, testing bias with teacher certification, and other factors. However, there had been little research conducted on exploring the strategies used by local school districts to increase minority teacher hires. There was a significant gap in the research literature regarding district strategies used to increase minority teacher hiring. There was a need to conduct a study with district officials that make recruiting, screening, and hiring decisions in their local school districts, and make the recommendations for hiring school personnel to the local school board. Therefore, the focus of this research proposal was to explore the strategies used by district officials to recruit and hire African American teachers in Georgia. Background of Study There has been a continual decline in the number of people entering the teaching profession and specifically a decrease in the number of minority teacher or teachers of color since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 (Milner & Howard, 2004). The greatest decline in the number of minority teachers has been within the African American population (Green, 2004). Prior to 1954 there were approximately 82,000 African American teachers and 2 million African American students (Green, 2004). During the

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time period of 1954-1965, there were 38,000 African American administrators in 17 Southern and border states that lost their jobs through desegregation (Green, 2004; Milner & Howard, 2004). Further, during the time period of 1975-1985, there was a 66% decline in African American students majoring in education (Green, 2004). During the years 1984-1989 there were an estimated 37,717 minority teacher candidates and teachers eliminated from the teaching profession, of which 21,515 were African American teachers or teacher candidates, due to changes in teacher certification requirements and admission requirements to teacher education programs (Green, 2004). A report from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) found that the number of minority students in public schools was steadily increasing while the number of minority teachers was rapidly decreasing in the United States (Smith, 2003). Today, there are nearly 18 million minority students, consisting of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who attend elementary and secondary schools in the United States of America (Smith, 2003). Researchers also found that minority students, and students in general, had higher levels of performance, achievement, and better self-esteem when they were either taught by teachers from their own ethnic group or by teachers who promoted learning from the context of cultural diversity in their classrooms (Gursky, 2002; Cokley, 2003; Smith, 2003). Therefore, the decline of minority teachers was a cause of great concern for public school stakeholders in the United States and abroad.

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Factors Contributing to the Decline in Minority Teachers Several factors contributed to the decline in minority teachers in America‟s public schools. Low salary was mentioned as a reason for the decline in students considering a career in teaching (Coggshall, 2006). A survey of college graduates revealed that 78% of them believed that teachers were seriously underpaid (Coggshall, 2006). In another survey, 298 undergraduate students at the University of York in England were given a questionnaire to complete that measured the importance of salary amount and the extent to which teaching could offer a good starting salary amount (Kyriacou & Coulthard, 2000). Only 5% of the undergraduate students in the study believed that teaching would definitely offer them a good starting salary (Kyriacou & Coulthard, 2000). Brown and Butty (1999) provided research on factors that influenced African American male teachers to choose certain educational and career pursuits. A 40 question Likert-type survey, consisting of 12 predictor variables and 3 criterion variables, was administered to 140 African American teachers in a suburban school district in Maryland (Brown & Butty, 1999). Results showed that motivation to teach was the sole predictor based on a desire to impart knowledge (Brown & Butty, 1999). The choice of undergraduate major also was the sole predictor of teachers‟ beliefs of whether they would continue working in public schools for 10 years or more (Brown & Butty, 1999). In another study, Shipp (1999) surveyed 263 African American college students regarding their potential choice of teaching as a career. Contribution to society was the top factor ranked by education majors (Shipp, 1999). Non-education majors ranked the chance of advancement opportunities as being the greatest determining factor in choice of career (Shipp, 1999). Non-education majors also placed more importance on salary and

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job security (Shipp, 1999). The perception of low teaching salary and low prestige of teaching were the least attractive for education and non-education majors (Shipp, 1999). Many college students said that teaching was not regarded highly as it was in previous years and this perception of low prestige was a consideration when choosing a major (Shipp, 1999). Difficulty in acquiring an acceptable passing score on teacher licensure tests was another factor noted as a reason for a reduction in minority teachers and teacher candidates (Nnazor, Sloan, & Higgins, 2004; Bennett, McWhorter, & Kuykendall, 2006). Minority education majors that could not make an acceptable passing score on their licensure test were not able to gain certification from their respective states (Nnazor et al., 2004; Bennett et al., 2006). A longitudinal study was conducted with 44 undergraduate Latino and African American students at a Big Ten university in Indiana which found students who were successful at passing Praxis I had a combination of high GPA, high SAT scores and high ethnic identity scores (Bennett et al., 2006). Testing bias was given as a reason for the difference in the test scores of Latino and African American students versus their Caucasian counterparts in Pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade schools (Bennett et al., 2006). Increases in high stakes testing and government accountability and oversight by provisions of Title II requirements revised in 1998 and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 posed even more challenges for Pre- Kindergarten through twelfth grade students (Darling-Hammond, 1997). Students who were not able to get acceptable passing score on criterion–reference tests and norm- reference tests received certificates of attendance but were not granted their high school diploma (Darling-Hammond, 1997). A high school diploma or general education diploma

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(GED) was a requirement for most admissions office when students apply to attend colleges and universities (Darling-Hammond, 1997). This could cause problems with postsecondary institutions that are trying to develop ways to recruit more minorities into teacher education programs (Nnazor et al., 2004). Many Historically Black Colleges and Universities, afterwards referred to as HBCUs, are improving student test and study skills by providing test prep sessions to improve minority passing rates and scores on teacher certification and other standardized testing, such as test for admission to graduate school (Futrell, 1999; Nnazor et al., 2006). Strategies for Increasing Minority Teacher Recruitment and Employment The decline in the number of minority teachers in comparison to the increase in the number of minority student population has caused many educators to study the issue and develop strategies and policies to increase minority teacher recruitment (Dandy, 1999; Gantner, Jenkins, & Layton, 2006; Nweke, Eads, Afolabi, & Stephens, 2006; Landgraf, 2007). Researchers and scholars have noted several strategies to increase minority teacher recruitment in public schools. The recruitment of paraprofessionals to become fully certified teachers was a strategy used by some states to increase teacher diversity (Villegas & Clewell, 1998). The majority of teaching assistants and paraprofessionals were minorities who had many years of experience in education (Villegas & Clewell, 1998). Some school districts and states have allowed those paraprofessionals to maintain their salaried positions while pursuing bachelor‟s degrees and teacher certification (Villegas & Clewell, 1998).

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Statement of the Problem Researchers have identified the growing problem of finding enough available minority candidates willing to enter the teaching profession and to fill teaching vacancies in U.S. public schools. According to the research, there has been a sharp decline in the number of minority teachers in the United States since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. This problem was extremely significant considering that the number of minority students have continued to increase in public schools across the United States. The researcher found very few strategies that had been developed to increase minority teacher recruitment in public schools at the local district level. Researchers have focused primarily on what policymakers and educational leaders at the state and federal levels have done to recruit minority teachers. Little is known about the strategies employed by school district officials in their recruiting and hiring practices of African American teachers. There is a gap in the research with regards to strategies used by school districts to increase minority teacher recruitment in public school districts. Local school districts were the primary agencies that employed the majority of school personnel in the state of Georgia for both classified and certified positions. Thus, there was a need to employ effective strategies at the district levels to increase African American and other minority group teachers in public schools in Georgia. The purpose of this study was to identify strategies used by district officials to increase African American teacher hiring in Georgia. Fifteen Georgia school districts were noted in the research with increasing their percentage of African American teachers by 5% over a seven year period. Therefore, the

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researcher interviewed nine of the fifteen local school districts that increased minority teacher hiring. Research Questions The researcher addressed the following overarching research question and the two sub-questions to guide the research study: What recruitment strategies and obstacles exist in recruiting African American teachers? 1. What school district strategies are being implemented to recruit and hire African American teachers in Georgia? 2. What challenges do these school districts encounter in recruiting African American teachers in Georgia? Significance of the Study School districts have experienced problems in hiring minority teachers to public schools at all levels, K-12, throughout the United States and abroad. Studies have been conducted on strategies used by agencies and organizations at the state and federal levels. There was a gap in the literature on strategies used by school districts to increase minority group teacher recruitment in public schools. Since there was limited research in this area and the number of minority teachers was decreasing, there was a need to explore the strategies used by district officials responsible for teacher recruitment and hiring to increase minority teacher recruitment in public schools. The researcher conducted this study with selected school districts in Georgia that increased their percentages of African American teachers between the years 2000-2007. The study will be used to add to the literature on strategies that district officials can employ to increase African American teacher recruitment in their local school districts.

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School district officials can use research data gained from this study to address the shortage of African American teachers and how to recruit African American teachers within their school districts. Districts that are having problems recruiting and hiring African American teachers can learn about the strategies that have been used by school that are successful in increasing their percentages of minority teacher hires within their school districts. Also, policymakers can use this information to develop district goals and plans to increase African American teacher hiring in Georgia. The importance of this study was to present data to district officials, researchers, and other interested stakeholders with the findings of the study so that they will have an additional knowledge base on what strategies have been successful in the recruitment of minority teachers. These district officials can then use this information to improve African American and other minority group teacher recruitment in their districts. This study had personal significance for the researcher who believes that minority students need to see positive role models from their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds throughout their schooling experiences. The researcher was greatly enriched by being taught by teachers and role models that were from his ethnic background as well as those from other cultures and ethnic backgrounds. These experiences motivated the researcher to become an educator with the expectation and challenge to make a difference in the lives of future students in public education.

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Some researchers have shown that minority students tend to have better classroom behavior, have increased self-esteem, and have higher rates of student performance and student achievement when they see and are taught by teachers with similar cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Foster, 1991; Stafford, 1997; Carrington & Tomlin, 2000; Fairclough, 2004). Other researchers, however, have shown non-minority teachers who promote cultural diversity also have minority students with high performance and student achievement (Reed, 1998; Walker- Dalhouse, & Dalhouse, 2006). Practitioners and researchers can use the results from this study to assist and guide them in developing a teacher recruitment plan of action that takes into account a need for diversity within the teaching staff. Results from the research could be used to develop strategies that could be employed at the local school district level. Research Procedures Design The focus of this study was to investigate effective strategies used by school districts to increase African American teacher recruitment in Georgia. The researcher used qualitative methodology with this study. This design will be used because there was scant prior research that had been conducted with school district recruitment strategies to increase minority teacher recruitment. The use of qualitative research also allowed the researcher an opportunity to gather rich information that would not be available through quantitative research. Also, since there was no established research on this topic, qualitative research method was the best option to get this detailed information from research participants.

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Population The participants in this study were district officials from nine selected school districts that showed at least 5% increase in African American teacher hiring over a seven year period in Georgia. The participants were selected by using the Certified Personnel Index (CPI) data from the Georgia Department of Education for the years 2000-2007. Instrumentation and Data The researcher was granted approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Georgia Southern University before conducting this study. The researcher conducted a semi-structured interview with each of the nine district officials of the selected school districts in this study. Participants were notified of their rights to participate or not participate in the study and received an informed consent letter to sign if they agreed to participate in the study. Data Analysis The researcher recorded the data from each interview and looked for recurring themes and patterns from each in-depth interview. Interviews were conducted in person with a recording of each interview conducted for trustworthiness of the data.

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Delimitations The population used in this study included district officials that have shown an increase of 5% of minority teachers hires in their school districts over a seven-year period between 2000-2007. Information on this demographic was gathered from the CPI Data from the Georgia Department of Education. Purposive sampling was done to get a cross section of public school districts locate in various regions throughout the state of Georgia to participate in the study. The researcher focused on districts that had high African American teacher growth percentages in Georgia and thus results may not be easily generalized to other districts. Limitations Some districts that had high percentages of African American teachers based on student population and other demographics were excluded from this study to get a cross- section of districts across the state of Georgia. These districts were generally excluded because they did not meet the criteria for growth in African American teachers used in this research study. Definition of Key Terms 1. Boundary heightening - exaggeration of the dominant culture‟s group solidarity where majority group values were emphasized with acceptance of traditional instructional methods. 2. Race consciousness – pride in race and what it means as an attempt to define separate, unique, and worthy of praise for an ethnic group in the overall culture. 3. Racial congruence – the match or mismatch of teachers and students race and how it shapes perceptions among various groups of people.

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4. Role entrapment – stereotypical role inductions encapsulated as tokens and which could result in loss of opportunities and promotions for certain individuals. 5. Second - Generation Discrimination – the categorization of group of students by ability grouping, tracking, and racially biased disciplinary actions in which two variables were found to be significantly related to lower levels of discrimination. 6. Cultures of power- the dominant cultural group accumulates the majority of the power and sets the acceptable norms while other cultural groups are at the margins of power. Summary Researchers have shown in the literature that there was a sharp decline in the number of African American teacher hires in the United States since desegregation. Several factors were proposed as reasons for this decline in minority teachers. These reasons included institutional bias and racism, changes in teacher certification, increased opportunities for advancement in other fields, and low salaries in the teaching profession. The research was limited on effective strategies that resulted in an increase in the hiring of more African American teachers. There was a gap in the literature regarding effective district recruitment strategies to employ more African American teacher hires. The researcher explored the following overarching research question: What recruitment strategies and obstacles exist in recruiting African American teachers? The two sub-research questions were used to guide the research study and included the following questions: 1. What school district strategies are being implemented to recruit and hire African American teachers in Georgia?

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2. What challenges do these school districts encounter in recruiting African American teachers in Georgia? The researcher designed a fourteen question semi-structured interview protocol to gather the data. The researcher wrote a summary of the results in this study along with recommendations for future research. This researcher provided sixteen effective strategies for districts that to increase their efforts in the recruitment and employment of African American teachers. Researchers, policymakers, and school officials can assess the data, analyze it, make inferences about it, and draw their own conclusions from the results of this research study.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Many researchers have noted that there was a crisis with regards to the available teacher supply in today‟s public schools (Dandy, 1999; Gursky, 2002). The current teacher workforce is getting closer to retirement and school districts in the United States are looking for 3 million teachers annually to fill teacher vacancies (Gursky, 2002). The situation was especially dire in urban schools, which tended to be high poverty and high minority areas (Reeves, 2000). Many of these schools fit the 90-90-90 demographic profile: 90% minority, 90% of students received free or reduced lunch, and 90% of students lived in families that are below the poverty line (Reeves, 2000). A noteworthy trend has occurred in public schools in the United States since desegregation (Smith, 2003; Epstein, 2005). Statistics showed that roughly 85%-90% of public school teachers in United States were young, white, and female (Epstein, 2005). Nationally, 50% of students in public schools were minority students (Bolich, 2003; Smith, 2003). The minority student population consists of the following ethnic groups: African American, Asians, Native Americans, and Latinos (Bolich, 2003; Smith, 2003). This percentage increased to 70% for inner city, urban school districts (Epstein, 2005; Walker-Dahlhouse & Dahlhouse, 2006). Dee (2004) said that there were three major concerns that have dominated educational policy with regards to teachers: the shortage of teachers since the 1980s, the declining number of those choosing teaching as a profession and a decline in the number and percentages of minority teachers in public schools. Researchers have written that

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teachers who share the same racial group membership as their students may generate a role model effect that could promote student effort, confidence, and enthusiasm (Dee, 2004). For instance, the presence of Black teachers with underprivileged Black students may have a positive impact that influences them to improve their educational possibilities (Dee, 2004). However, other researchers say that there is no direct significant empirical evidence to support this claim (Cizek, 1995). The Case for Students Having Teachers of Their Own Ethnicity There has been a sharp decline in the number of African American and other minority teachers in the United States public school over the last six decades. Since 1954, the greatest decline in teachers of color has been African American (Green, 2004; Fairclough, 2004; Milner & Howard, 2004). After Brown v. Board of Education, there were approximately 38,000 African American teachers and administrators who lost their positions due to desegregation and the creation of a unitary school system primarily in the South (Green, 2004; Milner & Howard, 2004). This trend proved to be at a high cost for African American educators and the African American community. Thousands of African American teachers lost their positions and their influence as role models, community advocates, and local intelligentsia of the African American community (Ehrenberg, 1995; Fairclough, 2004). Some African American students decided to pursue non-teaching fields because of new opportunities for advancement in other career fields (Kyriacou & Coulthard, 2000). Many African American teachers and students shared their stories about the impact of former African American teachers on their career choices in segregated schools (Harper, 1995; Milner & Howard, 2004). These former students and teachers talked about

Full document contains 158 pages
Abstract: There has been a continual decline in the number of available minority group teachers to supply America's public school for the past six decades. Several factors were noted for this decline which included better opportunities for minority advancement in other professions, low teacher salaries, the low prestige and status of teaching, institutional racism, and challenges with teacher certification and state licensure exams. The purpose of this study was to identify strategies used by school district officials to increase African American teacher hiring in Georgia. This study examined the district strategies that were implemented to recruit and hire minority teachers and the challenges the districts encountered in recruiting African American teachers in Georgia. The researcher examined the Certified Personnel Index data from the 180 public school districts in Georgia to determine which districts had at least 5% growth in African American teacher hiring from 2000-2007. Initially, criteria sampling was used and sixteen districts met the criteria. Purposeful sampling was also used to select nine school districts to participate in this study. The nine school districts included three rural districts, three urban districts, and three suburban districts. The geographical location of the districts consisted of two in South Georgia, three in Middle Georgia, and four in North Georgia. In the findings of this study, there were sixteen district recruitment strategies used and eleven district challenges mentioned by respondents regarding African American teacher recruitment and hiring. The recruitment strategies and challenges were similar in comparable districts based on size and geographical location. Rural, suburban, and urban districts had similar strategies and challenges. The North Georgia districts tended to use somewhat similar strategies and faced similar challenges. The Middle Georgia districts also tended to be similar in use of strategies and the challenges faced by the district. However, there was a noticeable difference in the two South Georgia districts with one being a small rural district and the other being a large urban district. Three district strategies were noted by all participants including college and university partnerships, job fairs, and the use of the Teach Georgia state recruitment website. All participants mentioned a tight budgetary constraint in a struggling economy as the most prevalent challenge in their districts. Five districts also named salary competition and teacher recruitment competition as a major challenge in its overall recruitment plans. The researcher drew two conclusions from the findings. First, there was little difference in African American teacher recruitment strategies and overall teacher recruitment used by the selected districts. Second, there was little difference in the challenges that districts faced with African American teacher recruitment and overall teacher recruitment. INDEX WORDS: African American teacher, Teacher recruitment, Teacher hiring, District teacher recruitment strategies