From “Understanding Teacher Retention and Mobility in Washington State” by Elfers, Plecki, and Windekens.
While the number of teachers in Washington state has increased by approximately 11,000 in the last twenty years, the racial and ethnic diversity of the teacher workforce made only minimal gains. In 1995-96, there were approximately 49,000 teachers, 94% of whom were White. In 2015-16, 90% of the state’s 60,000 teachers were White. The increase in diversity of the workforce was concentrated among Hispanics, with the percent of Hispanic teachers increasing from 1.7% to 3.9%, and the percent of Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian teachers rising from 2.0% to 2.8%. The proportion of Black/African American teachers has declined from 1.6% in 1995-96 to 1.2% in 2015-16. The proportion of Native American teachers also declined slightly from 0.8% to 0.7% in the last twenty years.
This problem is almost always framed as “students of color need educated, professional role models that look like them” which is undeniable; much less appreciated though, is the need for White students to have excellent, ethnically diverse teachers.