BHM: JCPS’s teacher population does not reflect the students they teach

Jacob Hamm

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Black History Month is a time to celebrate black role models throughout history, whether famous or personal, such as your teacher or coach. Unfortunately for many students in Jefferson County Public Schools, it is not as easy as it should be to find teachers who look like them.

JCPS’s numbers show that the number of black school teachers do not reflect the black student population. Even predominantly black high schools like Central and Western, with black population percentages of 75.5 percent and 69 percent respectively, have nowhere near that amount of black teachers, with 24 percent at Central and just 10 percent at Western.

JCPS officials are aware of this issue, and have been for a while. An article published by WDRB in 2014 shows that the school board has been talking about this issue at least since then.

This issue does not pertain JCPS alone. As reported by Education Week, a National Center for Education Statistics study found that about 80 percent of the teaching population across the nation is white and only seven percent is black.

JCPS has created the Envision Equity report and have recently passed a racial equity plan to help counter this problem. Among other racial equity initiatives, they aim to increase the number of minority teachers by two percent by 2020 and plan to partner with Simmons College of Kentucky to help achieve this goal.

Editor’s note: Demographic data come from Jefferson County Public Schools Envision Equity report. For more extensive student population numbers click here.