As America’s schools become more racially mixed, teachers have remained predominantly white, female and ill-prepared for today’s classroom, according to a report released Friday.
To counter the trend, the deans of 89 university schools of education say they intend to revolutionize the way teachers are taught.
“The next generation of children will be children of color - 45 percent by the year 2000 - but 85 percent of the teaching profession remains white and female,” said Judith E. Lanier, education professor at Michigan State University.
Organized into a consortium called the Holmes Group, the deans blame the faculty and curriculum of their own institutions for the racial imbalance between teachers and students.
The 89 member universities, which together have educated an estimated 20 percent of the nation’s 3 million teachers, signed an agreement Friday to recruit a new multiracial and multicultural faculty. They also agreed to direct faculty away from research and publishing toward field work in the schools aimed at making academic research more meaningful to teachers.
The deans pledged unspecified curriculum changes and the development of quality standards that they will recommend to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.