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Education Dive interview with Ron Walker: Boys of color still ‘woefully behind’ in the classroom.

This is an excerpt from Education Dive’s interview with Ron Walker, “COSEBOC director: Boys of color still ‘woefully behind’ in the classroom.”

And there’s also the debate over the shortage of teachers of color, because these students don’t have role models who look like them to look up to in the schools.

WALKER: That is a tremendous issue. When you think about the national numbers, there’s something in the order of 2-3% for black males who are teachers, and perhaps even smaller if you look at the elementary school, where there’s even a much smaller number of black males in the teaching ranks. If you don’t see any black males, then you don’t believe that they’re teachers. They don’t see the models that we want them to see: A professional model, a good work ethic, a strong presence. That’s very, very influential.

I would say that it’s not only influential for the education and development of boys and young men of color, but it’s also influential and important for the entire student population, and for the teaching population, to see that there are teachers of color who are effective, who are successful, who know students well, who know how to get the most out of their students. All students benefit when you have a very diverse workforce that includes black male teachers.