Census Bureau Predicts Minorities Will Become Majority by 2050
The U.S. Census Bureau is predicting that students of color will become the majority in K-12 classrooms by the middle of the 21st century. Already, 37 percent of elementary and secondary school enrollment is composed of students of color.A recent report, “Educating the Emerging Majority,” warns that classroom teachers are not broadly representative of the students they teach: Nine out of 10 teachers are White.“A teacher of color in the classroom has an impact on all students,” says the report prepared by the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education. “For African American, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian children, having a teacher of color presents an opportunity to learn from an individual who reflects the broad cultural and social diversity that is the bedrock of our national unity.”The report goes on to mention that the limited supply of teachers of color is a result of several trends, including substandard K-12 academic preparation, poor educational experiences of students of color, family background, social issues, the disincentives of low salaries and perhaps even lower respect and prestige.Minority-serving institutions are poised to play a role in alleviating the situation, say the report’s authors, who also are critical of current federal funding to such institutions.“For programs dealing with teacher education, funding not only has been inadequate, but also now is being dangerously linked to narrow measures of outcomes of all teacher education programs at colleges and universities.”Meanwhile, other statistics from the Census reveal that more than 83 percent of Americans age 25 and older graduated from high school, and more than 25 percent have at least a college degree — both record highs.
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