Effective school district recruitment strategies of African American teachers
There has been a continual decline in the number of available minority group teachers to supply America's public school for the past six decades. Several factors were noted for this decline which included better opportunities for minority advancement in other professions, low teacher salaries, the low prestige and status of teaching, institutional racism, and challenges with teacher certification and state licensure exams.
The purpose of this study was to identify strategies used by school district officials to increase African American teacher hiring in Georgia. This study examined the district strategies that were implemented to recruit and hire minority teachers and the challenges the districts encountered in recruiting African American teachers in Georgia.
The researcher examined the Certified Personnel Index data from the 180 public school districts in Georgia to determine which districts had at least 5% growth in African American teacher hiring from 2000-2007. Initially, criteria sampling was used and sixteen districts met the criteria. Purposeful sampling was also used to select nine school districts to participate in this study. The nine school districts included three rural districts, three urban districts, and three suburban districts. The geographical location of the districts consisted of two in South Georgia, three in Middle Georgia, and four in North Georgia.
In the findings of this study, there were sixteen district recruitment strategies used and eleven district challenges mentioned by respondents regarding African American teacher recruitment and hiring. The recruitment strategies and challenges were similar in comparable districts based on size and geographical location. Rural, suburban, and urban districts had similar strategies and challenges. The North Georgia districts tended to use somewhat similar strategies and faced similar challenges. The Middle Georgia districts also tended to be similar in use of strategies and the challenges faced by the district. However, there was a noticeable difference in the two South Georgia districts with one being a small rural district and the other being a large urban district. Three district strategies were noted by all participants including college and university partnerships, job fairs, and the use of the Teach Georgia state recruitment website. All participants mentioned a tight budgetary constraint in a struggling economy as the most prevalent challenge in their districts. Five districts also named salary competition and teacher recruitment competition as a major challenge in its overall recruitment plans.
The researcher drew two conclusions from the findings. First, there was little difference in African American teacher recruitment strategies and overall teacher recruitment used by the selected districts. Second, there was little difference in the challenges that districts faced with African American teacher recruitment and overall teacher recruitment.
INDEX WORDS: African American teacher, Teacher recruitment, Teacher hiring, District teacher recruitment strategies
0325: Black studies
0449: Educational leadership
0461: School Administration
0514: School administration