This group's research addresses the critical need to investigate how teachers of color navigate the educational workforce. In the next decade, recent projections show a major shift in the student demographic population in which students of color will represent a majority of those served by the public educational system; the percentage of White students in public schools is projected to fall to 46% by 2024. Conversely, demographics within the educator workforce remain stagnant. In 2012, 82% of teachers and 80% of principals nationally identified as White (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). Historically and recently, the study of race in schools has focused on the relationships between students and teachers where the racial mismatch between students of color and White teachers is linked to achievement gaps and other educational outcome disparities (e.g., graduation rates). Teachers of color may enter the workforce intrinsically motivated to address these educational outcome disparities for students color only to encounter a school climate that is difficult to navigate, particularly the tense interpersonal relationships between peer teachers and administrators who are members of the majority, dominant race (Simon & Johnson, 2015; Gist, 2018).
This group's research, instead, seeks to explore the racial mismatch between teachers of color in Iowa and members of the majority White educational workforce. Group members will investigate how teachers of color in Iowa navigate a workforce within which they are vastly outnumbered, with particular attention to how these complex interpersonal working relationships may lead to race-related stress for them.