Honored to have Rann Miller return to share his latest (you can read his first post on data-driven approaches to hiring teachers of color here):

When it comes to recruiting prospective teachers of color, some school administrators and human resource managers claim that there aren’t enough viable candidates available to hire. When that premise is debunked, the next excuse they (administrators and HR managers) use is that they don’t know where to find teachers candidates of color. I would argue that administrators and HR managers who make such statements have not prioritized hiring teachers of color in the first place. Most are willing to hire teachers of color, however; they will not go out of their way to look for them. Many of these folks believe in the mantra, “if you build it they will come.” The problem with having the field of dreams recruiting philosophy is that it is reactive and not proactive. If a school district is committed to hiring more teachers of color, they must take a proactive approach and not a reactive one. A proactive teacher recruitment strategy includes making your presence felt at schools of education on college campuses. School districts often do set up shop at local colleges and universities with teacher education programs. Those schools however tend to be local to the district and primarily White institutions (PWIs). District leadership must consider reaching out to minority serving institutions (MSIs) if they want to find a vast pool of qualified candidates of color.

The research on the importance of hiring teachers of color is vast; there is research that speaks to the impact teachers of color have on students of color with respect to student discipline and academic performance.[1] In a previous post, I spoke more about this evidence, but I digress.[2] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Black male teachers are underrepresented in the K-12 teaching workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Education, while 16% of all public school students are Black, only 7% of teachers are Black; less than 2% are Black males.[3] However, Black men have made the occupation of primary school teacher as their number one choice.[4] As I expressed in my previous post, there is a need to hire more Black male teachers. You may be a district who decided to commit to hiring more Black male teachers. That is encouraging. A word of caution; if you subscribe to the field of dreams philosophy, you may achieve your goal. Honestly, you may not know where to look. Have you considered beginning your search at Historically Black Colleges and Universities? I think that is a great place to begin your search for Black male prospective teacher candidates.

The majority of Historically Black Colleges and Universities[5] (HBCUs) were established in the mid to late 1800s as pre-collegiate schools for newly freed slaves and normal schools[6] for training teachers.[7] While HBCUs serve just 0.1% of the overall student population, they account for 20% of Black students who complete bachelor’s degrees.[8] According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, nearly 38% of HBCUs reported a 10% increase in undergraduate student enrollment between the fall semesters of 2013 and 2014. HBCUs are helping their students find success in the classroom; translating to success out of the classroom. HBCUs graduate more poor Black students than do PWIs. HBCUs are doing a better job than the average postsecondary institution, in terms of vaulting lowest-income kids into the top quintile as adults; of those HBCUs that the researchers were able to collect data for, over 85 percent had a higher “mobility score” than the average across all institutions in the U.S.[9] In a study conducted by the Education Trust, it was concluded that the average graduating rate for Black students at HBCUs was 37.8% versus 32% at non-HBCUs.[10] According to a 2015 gallop study, Black graduates of HBCUs are more likely than Black graduates of other institutions to be thriving – strong, consistent and progressing – in a number of areas of their lives, particularly in their financial and purpose well-being.[11] HBCUs remain true to its mission. While non-HBCUs enroll more Black males than HBCUs, those who graduate from non-HBCUs are diluted by the large number of non-HBCU degree granting institutions. If you want to find Black males in route to a bachelor’s degree, visit an HBCU.

Figure 1 – Black Male Bachelor Degree Comparison HBCU v Non-HBCU

SOURCE: Selected statistics on degree-granting HBCUs, by control and level of institution: selected years, 1990 through 2014 & Bachelor’s degrees conferred by post-secondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: selected years, 1976-77 through 2013-14.

Also, in keeping with their historic mission, schools of education have a prevailing presence on HBCU campuses. HBCU schools of education have a proven track record of producing new Black male educators. According to a 2016 Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions report, HBCU’s conferred roughly 32% of all bachelor degrees earned by Black men in 2014. According to the same report, approximately 30% of all education degrees for Black men came from HBCUs. it is true that more Black males earned education degrees attending non-HBCUs, however, similar to non-HBCU attending Black male bachelor degree earners, non-HBCU attending Black male bachelor’s in education earners are also diluted by the number of non-HBCU degree granting institutions. The numbers show that the likelihood of finding a prospective Black male teaching candidate is higher if you visit a HBCU versus a PWI.[12]

Figure 2 – Black Male Bachelor of Education Degree Comparison HBCU v Non-HBCU

SOURCE: Completions/Awards/degrees conferred by program (CIP), award level, race/ethnicity, and gender: July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, National Center for Educational Statistics.

While HBCU’s are one resource to find qualified and competent Black male teacher candidates, they are a great place to start your recruiting. HBCU interest and attendance is not limited to the geographic area of the school. HBCUs have a regional reach; some schools have a national reach. District leadership looking for qualified candidate who can reach and teach your population of students; whether you are located in an urban, suburban or rural area, you should get familiar with HBCUs. The likelihood of finding more Black male teacher candidates is greater if you recruit at a HBCU. If you’re concerned that a HBCU school of education teaching graduates will not be open to relocating to your district’s location, don’t be. A 2016 survey study showed that the majority of millennials are willing to relocate for a job.[13] Whether or not your district has the cache to attract numerous candidates, you must be proactive when looking for Black male teachers. Being proactive means visiting HBCUs, partnering with their schools of education and interview Black male students for your open positions. Black male teachers candidates will not simply come to your district simply because you exist and they are looking for work. However, you’ll show up on their radar when you add them to your own.

Rann Miller is a doctoral student at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden Campus. He is a director of a federally funded after-school program for a school district located in southern New Jersey. He is a former classroom teacher of 6 years in charter schools located in Camden, New Jersey. He is the author of the Urban Education Mixtape Blog (https://urbanedmixtape.com). He can be followed on twitter at @UrbanEdDJ

[1] “There is clear evidence that a larger pool of effective teachers of color makes a difference in the lives of students of color as well as White Students. Teachers of color do more than just teach content. They dispel myths of racial inferiority and incompetence and serve as surrogate parents, guides, and mentors to their students. They also serve as accessible models of intellectual authority. Moreover, diversity among teachers increases teachers’ and students’ knowledge and understanding of different cultural groups, thereby enhancing the abilities of all involved to interact with each other. It is clear that diversifying the nation’s teaching force is essential to the racial and ethnic integration of American society, a goal that the majority of American’s support.” – Citation: Irvine, J.J. & Fenwick, L.T. (2011). Teachers and Teaching for the New Millennium: The Role of HBCUs. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(3). 197-208.

[2] Miller, R. R. (2017). A Data Driven Approach to Hiring More Black Male Teachers. Local Knowledge Blog. Retrieved March 3, 2017 from https://danley.camden.rutgers.edu/2017/01/31/a-data-driven-approach-to-hiring-more-black-male-teachers-by-randy-miller/

[3] U.S. Department of Education Policy & Program Studies Service. (2016). The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. Retrieved March 3, 2017 from https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/highered/racial-diversity/state-racial-diversity-workforce.pdf & Mitchell, C. (2016). Black Male Teachers a Dwindling Demographic. Education Week. Retrieved on March 3, 2017 from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/17/black-male-teachers-a-dwindling-demographic.html

[4] According to Dr. Ivory Toldson, in a 2012 analysis of the top 10 occupations among Black and White males who have at least a bachelor’s degree, primary school teacher was the number one profession of college-educated black men (number 3 for White men and number 1 for Black women also); secondary school teacher was the fifth ranked profession of college-educated black men (number 14 for White men). – Citation: Toldson, I. A., & Snitman, A. (2010). Editor’s Comments: Education Parity and Economic Disparities: Correcting Education Attainment Discrepancies among Black People in the United States. The Journal of Negro Education, 79, 1-5.

[5] HBCUs are defined as, “Black academic institutions established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and still is, the education of Black Americans.” – Citation: Roebuck, J. & Murty, K. (1993). Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Their Place in American Higher Education. Westport: Praefer.

[6] A normal school was a school originally intended to students to become teachers in public schools. For Black students in a normal school, it was to train them to enter segregated schools.

[7] Irvine, J.J. & Fenwick, L.T. (2011). Teachers and Teaching for the New Millennium: The Role of HBCUs. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(3). 197-208.

[8] Reeves, R.V. & Joo, N. (2017). The Contribution of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to Upward Mobility. Brookings. Retrieved February 15, 2017 from


[9] Reeves, R.V. & Joo, N. (2017).

[10] “The study compared the graduation rates for schools whose Pell Grant recipients make up 40 to 75 percent of their student bodies. The study noted that roughly half of the nation’s 105 HBCUs have a freshman class where three-quarters of the students are from low-income backgrounds, while just 1% of the 676 non-HBCUs serve a high percentage of low-income students.” – Citation: Chiles, N. (2017). HBCUs Graduate More Poor Black Students Than White Colleges. NPR. Retrieved on March 1, 2017 from


[11] “These findings are among those featured in the new Gallup-USA Funds Minority College Graduates Report. This report is based on the results from Gallup-Purdue Index studies in 2014 and 2015 with 55,812 college graduates aged 18 and older, with Internet access, who received bachelor’s degrees between 1940 and 2015. The study included 520 black graduates of HBCUs and 1,758 black graduates of other colleges. These results are based on a Gallup model that accounts for factors such as decade of graduation, student loan debt and parents’ education.” – Citation: Seymour S. & Ray, J. (2015). Grads of Historically Black Colleges Have Well-Being Edge. Gallup. Retrieved on February 28, 2017 from http://www.gallup.com/poll/186362/grads-historically-black-colleges-edge.aspx.

[12] In addition to graduating their students but they have adapted to meet the needs of a new teacher workforce. Schools of Education at HBCU’s have responded to the challenges of revising their curricula and programs for the new millennium with initiatives that include advanced technology, innovative recruitment strategies, alternative routes to teaching, and national certification for experienced teachers of color, Irvine, J.J. & Fenwick, L.T. (2011).

[13] “A new survey of Millennials by Wakefield Research for Graebel, a leading provider of corporate relocation services for Global 100 and Fortune 500 firms, found 84 percent of Millennials are willing to relocate for a job, and 82 percent believe they will be required to relocate if they want to advance their careers. Millennials on the Move: Millennials have a global mindset when it comes to their careers. Eighty-four percent are willing to relocate for a job, 72 percent domestically and 41 percent internationally. Career Building through Mobility: Eighty-two percent of Millennials believe eventual relocation will be necessary for career advancement, and 83 percent say they would give preference to a prospective employee who has worked abroad, if they were in charge of hiring.” – Citation: Graebel.com. (2016). Millennials See Mobility As Essential For Career Advancement. Retrieved on March 6, 2017 from https://www.graebel.com/millennials-see-mobility-as-essential-for-career-advancement/.


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