Recruitment & Retention Letter to the Editor

We Need Better Efforts to Hire and Retain Black Teachers

July 11, 2023 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Bettina L. Love argues that we should prioritize the retention of Black teachers, not the recruitment. At least, that is the message in her essay (“Stop Trying to Recruit Black Teachers Until You Can Retain the Ones You Have,” March 23, 2023). We should be doing both.

Recruitment efforts are often all sound and fury, with no change. Districts say they want to find more teachers of color, then use artificial barriers to constrain the numbers, including state certifications that are often time- and money-consuming.

Black teachers are wary of the way they are used, as Love notes. They are wary of job insecurity and low pay. They are more than just wary of the often-hostile work environment they come into, one that often assumes things such as the idea that Black males must assume “disciplinary roles” for which they are not trained.

As for retention, the conditions that keep any teacher in their school would also work for Black teachers: decent salaries, coaching support, classroom-management training, sustainable workloads, respect for their professionalism, and genuine care for healthy conditions and facilities. Add to that a recognition that there are issues related to identity that deserve and demand attention and action. These differ district to district, even school to school.

The one thing we currently lack is honest and well-funded efforts to train, hire, and retain Black teachers.

Jon McGill
Academic Director
Baltimore Curriculum Project
Baltimore, Md.


Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum AI in Education: Big Opportunities, Big Problems
How can schools use AI effectively but avoid problems such as cheating and breakdowns in data privacy? Find out in this virtual event.
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educators & EdTech: Co-Designing Tomorrow's Classroom
Join our interactive discussion on integrating voices in edtech product development. Discover the power of co-creation, hear real conversations, and be part of shaping the future of digital learning.
Content provided by Giant Steps by GoGuardian

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention How to Support New Teachers So They Stay—and Thrive
Job interviews that highlight schools' strengths, looking at teacher applicants' assets, and giving new hires layers of support all matter.
4 min read
051123 Lead Sym Maddy jb BS
Chris Ferenzi for Education Week
Recruitment & Retention Spotlight Spotlight on Teacher Shortages
This Spotlight will help you uncover what principals look for when hiring teachers, how a supportive culture can help retention, and more.
Recruitment & Retention How These State and District Leaders Are Solving Teacher Shortages
Three experts share the benefits and drawbacks of the strategies they've tried out.
5 min read
A teacher leads students in a discussion about hyperbole and symbolism in a high school English class at Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif., on April 25, 2017.
A teacher leads students in a discussion about hyperbole and symbolism in a high school English class at Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif., on April 25, 2017.
Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages
Recruitment & Retention How to Recruit and Retain Bilingual Teachers and Men of Color
Mentoring and building personal relationships can be powerful tools for recruiting and retaining educators of color and bilingual teachers.
2 min read
051123 Lead Sym Alyson jb BS
Chris Ferenzi for Education Week