by Cash Michaels - The Wilmington Journal

It was 1992, and the General Assembly realized that it had to get more black and other educators of color into the state’s public school classrooms. So lawmakers ratified the Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Scholarship “…to address the critical shortage of minority teachers especially in the areas of mathematics and science.”

The scholarship awards up to $5000 annually to students of color enrolled in teacher education programs in the state university system.

When the program began over a decade ago, only 50 – 60 students received the scholarships.

Today that number has increased to 400, and 85% of those are black.

A spokesman confirms that the scholarship has “increased the number of people of color to enter the state’s teacher education programs.”

Coupled with an Educational Leadership Development program to put more veteran educators of color in position to become principals and superintendents; a Future Educators Association to promote teaching to young pre-college students as a viable, rewarding career; and a generous pay hike to stop the erosion of talented teachers to private industry and neighboring school systems; many would say that this state is aggressively doing the right things to ensure that more African-American teachers, and particularly males, are its public schools.

The problem is “this state” is Kentucky, and its Department of Education is devoted to finding specific solutions to the specific needs of its student population of color, in a state where so-called “minorities” are just 10.7 percent of the total population.

So what about our NC Dept. of Public Instruction (NCDPI)?

With 22,173 high school dropouts in the 2005-06 school year, 4776 of them Black males, what specific solutions is the state undertaking not only to recruit more African-American teachers to the classroom, but African-American male teachers in particular?

The answer might surprise you!Read the article.