School Districts Working to Recruit More Ethnic Teachers as Population Changes - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

School Districts Working to Recruit More Ethnic Teachers as Population Changes

Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9  

Changing ethnic dynamics in Texas means more minority students. While the faces may be different across the state, teachers aren't mirroring that change.

Local school districts say they're trying to put more teachers of color at the head of the class, but luring them to West Texas isn't always easy.

Veteran Midland teacher Terriell Littlejohn says he's noticed the lack of teachers of color over the years.

"I think it's something that the kids need," Littlejohn said. "Not only do they need role models as far as men in the elementary schools, but they need minority individuals that they can relate to."

And he's not the only one.

"We have a focused effort on that and we have spent several years really targeting colleges and universities that are traditionally minority colleges and universities," ECISD's Mike Adkins said.

Adkins says rapidly growing minority populations, particularly Hispanic, makes it hard to keep up.    

Both Midland and Ector County schools have large minority populations. 72% percent of ECISD students were minorities. While the district is trying to recruit more teachers to reflect that population as of now only about 30% of their teachers are teachers of color.                

Other obstacles include; not many minorities want to be teachers and those who do don't always want to work in West Texas.

"I think the district does do a good job, but some of the larger venues I think the pay scales are higher," Littlejohn said. "And you've got that excitement of the large cities."

Whether Hispanic, Black or White, the District's say excellence is their main goal.

"I think what parents want and what we want are the best teachers possible in every classroom and that's what we're really out to recruit," Adkins said. "Obviously we're trying to find minority candidates who can reflect our community as well, but we want the best candidates in every classroom and moving us toward world class."

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