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Black or African American Teachers Teach in City Schools at a Higher Rate

February 3, 2022

New NCES analysis examines the characteristics of Black or African American teachers and the characteristics of public and private schools where Black or African American teachers work in the United States

WASHINGTON (February 3, 2022)—When compared to all teachers, Black or African American teachers more often teach in a city school, according to Black or African American Teachers: Background and School Settings in 2017–18, a report released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

“This new analysis contains a variety of important insights about the backgrounds and work experiences of Black or African American teachers,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “When compared to all teachers, a higher percentage of Black or African American teachers are women, are new to the profession, have pursued an alternative route to the classroom, and teach in city schools with a majority-minority student body. We can only gain these insights through collecting, analyzing, and reporting statistics by race and ethnicity, and NCES is committed to doing so.”

Fifty-one percent of Black or African American teachers taught in city schools, compared with 31 percent of all teachers. When compared to all teachers, Black or African American teachers also had a higher rate of post-master’s degree education and alternative certification, and taught in schools in the South and in schools with 75 percent or more minority enrollment at a higher rate.

The Black or African American Teachers: Background and School Settings in 2017–18 report uses data from the National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), a national sample survey of public and private K–12 schools, principals, and teachers in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Black or African American teachers in this report include teachers who selected Black or African American on the survey, regardless of whether other races were selected and regardless of the response to Hispanic or Latino origin.

This March, NCES plans on releasing an additional report on the 2017–18 background and school settings of teachers of Hispanic or Latino origin. Data from the 2020–21 NTPS, which was conducted during the coronavirus pandemic and included specific questions about the impact of the pandemic on public and private schools, principals, and teachers, is scheduled to be released summer 2022.

Key Findings

Characteristics of Black or African American Teachers

  • About three-quarters (76 percent) of Black or African American teachers were female.
  • Compared with all teachers, a higher rate of Black or African American teachers were new to the classroom. Eighteen percent of Black or African American teachers, compared with 14 percent of all teachers, had been teaching few than four years.
    • A lower rate of Black or African American teachers (37 percent) had been teaching for 15 or more years compared with all teachers (43 percent).
  • Black or African American teachers had a higher rate of post-master’s degree education than their counterparts. Thirteen percent of Black or African American teachers had post-master’s degree education, compared to 9 percent of all teachers.
  • Black or African American teachers had a higher rate of alternative certification than teachers as a whole. While about one in five public and private school teachers (18 percent) had an alternative path to certification, about one in three (34 percent) Black or African American teachers obtained certification this way.

School Type

  • Black or African American teachers taught in southern schools at a higher rate. About 66 percent (two-thirds) of Black or African American teachers taught in the South, compared with 39 percent of all teachers.
  • In comparison with all teachers, a higher percentage of Black or African American public and private school teachers were in schools with 75 percent or more minority enrollment in the school, and a lower percentage were in schools with less than 25 percent minority enrollment.
    • In public schools, about two-thirds (65 percent) of Black or African American teachers were in schools with 75 percent or more minority enrollment in the school, compared with 27 percent of all public school teachers. Three percent of Black or African American teachers were in public schools with 0 to 24 percent minority enrollment, compared with 29 percent of all public school teachers.
  • In private schools, 40 percent of Black or African American teachers were in schools with 75 percent or more minority enrollment, compared with 9 percent of all private school teachers.

Visit https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2022024 to view the full report.

To learn more about the data used in this report, visit https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ntps/.

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The National Center for Education Statistics, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.

The National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) is a system of related questionnaires that provide descriptive data on the context of public and private elementary and secondary education in addition to giving local, state, and national policymakers a variety of statistics on the condition of education in the United States. As a nationwide sample survey collecting information directly from teachers and principals, the NTPS system allows for principal, teacher, and student characteristics to be analyzed at the state and national level. NTPS also supports the detailed analysis of a variety of subgroups (e.g., female principals, Black or African American teachers, rural schools), with a focus on flexibility, timeliness, and integration with other data sources.

Contact: Josue DeLaRosa, NCES, ARIS.NCES@ed.gov, (202) 705-6692 OR James Elias, Hager Sharp, jelias@hagersharp.com, 202-355-4417