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The Collection and Availability of Teacher Diversity Data: A State-by-State Survey

In recent years, there is increasing attention being focused on the importance of teacher diversity and there is general agreement that schools and districts need to recruit and retain more teachers of color. The availability of high-quality data on teacher race and ethnicity is crucial for targeting and monitoring the progress of these efforts. Unfortunately, the federal government does not centrally collect district- or school-level data on teacher race and ethnicity. This means that responsibility for the collection and promulgation of teacher diversity data falls to individual states.

In late 2017, we conducted a survey of state education agencies (SEAs) in 50 states and the District of Columbia. SEAs were asked whether detailed teacher race and ethnicity data are collected, and whether and how they are made available to the public.

Our results are generally encouraging, but there are areas for serious concern. Most notably, we find that six states — Alabama, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia — report that they do not collect any district- or school-level data on teacher race and ethnicity. Two states, Nevada and North Carolina, report collecting only district-level data. In addition, of the 45 states that do collect at least district-by-district data, 41 make these data reasonably available to the public, and only 21 do so on their websites. In other words, roughly 1 in 5 states report that they either do not collect or do not make public teacher diversity data, and only about 2 in 5 states make these detailed data available without a request. The situation is a bit worse when it comes to the more detailed school-by-school data — 1 in 4 states either do not collect or make public these data, and only about 1 in 3 makes them available without a request.

We conclude with recommendations that all states collect school-level data on teacher race and ethnicity and post the data on their websites. We also recommend that the U.S. Department of Education begin centralized collection of these data as part of its Civil Rights Data Collection.

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You can read the full report (PDF) below or download it here.

Read the press release for this report here.

For those who wish to use states' teacher diversity data themselves, we have compiled a list of links with which you can download the actual data (list is in Word format). For states that make the data available on their websites, the links in the list will direct you to a specific SEA webpage; for states that require data requests, the links will prompt you to download the Excel files that we received from SEAs (year of data varies by SEA).

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