FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edgar José Palacios
Kansas City, MO; February 5, 2021: A report released today from Latinx Education Collaboration (LEC), “Landscape Analysis: Teachers of Color in Kansas City” was commissioned by the nonprofit organization to further understand the critical state of diversity among students and teachers in elementary and secondary education.
A research team at the Urban Education Research Center (UERC) of University of Missouri-Kansas City used 2019 teacher self-reported data provided by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to determine
the outcome of the report.
“Representation matters. Students have better educational outcomes when they see themselves reflected in the teachers that serve them. In fact, every student benefits from a diverse teacher workforce,” says Edgar Palacios, Founder and CEO of LEC. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, there are more than one hundred public schools. Approximately one third of these schools do not have at least one teacher of color in the building. “I wonder what my opportunities would be like today if I had had more teachers of color. I don’t know. But we’ll use the findings from this report to hone LECs efforts in educating our students and recruiting and supporting Black and Brown education
professionals,” adds Palacios.
Jackson County and Wyandotte County —together employ the largest number of Latinx teachers as their combined share of the total percentage of Latinx teachers in Kansas City is 87%. Jackson County employs 174 Latinx teachers, which is 67% of the total Latinx teacher population. Wyandotte County employs 54 Latinx teachers (21%). Although efforts are being made locally to recruit more teachers of color, retention rates are not
keeping the pace with the growing number of students of color. The cause for high turnover notes insufficient preparation, lack of in-school and out-of-school supports and mentoring, poor teaching conditions, additional student mentoring burdens and instability in the high-need schools in which they teach. The analysis shows the achievement gap among students of color directly correlates with an inability to connect with their instructor.
Additional reports show when students of color are taught by teachers of color, their math and reading scores are more likely to improve (Egalite et al., 2015). The students are more likely to graduate from high school and aspire to go to college (Gershenson et al., 2017). Students of
color and white students are more likely to have positive perceptions of their teachers of color, including feeling cared for and academically challenged (Cherng & Halpin, 2016).
A copy of the report can be accessed at http://latinxedco.org/2021-landscape-analysis/ For more information or how to support the Latinx Education Collaborative, call (305) 906 0644 or visit www.latinxedco.org.
About Latinx Education Collaborative
The Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC) is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization based in Kansas City, MO. The LEC works on increasing the representation of Latinx education professionals in K- 12 through its three strategic objectives: retention, pathway exposure, and recruitment support.
About Urban Education Research Center
The Urban Education Research Center (UERC) is a research and evaluation center within the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education. The center works collaboratively within the School of Education, across the university and in conjunction with local partners
and communities. Collaborators and partners include educational leaders, educators, researchers, community leaders, advocacy groups, industries and service organizations throughout the Greater Kansas City area.