Friday, May 05, 2006

NEA: Issues facing teachers

NEA Addresses Top Five Teaching Trends and Outlines 'Portrait of American Teacher'
WASHINGTON -- The teaching profession has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. The majority of the nation's 3 million teachers have at least a master's degree and an average of 15 years of experience.i In addition, more than 75 percent of all teachers participate in professional development related to their grade or subject area.i As part of its annual National Teacher Day celebration, taking place this year on Tuesday, May 9, the National Education Association is releasing a list of the top five trends in the teaching profession and outlining the main characteristics of a 21st century schoolteacher.
"Today, teachers are more educated and experienced than ever before," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "It's extremely reassuring to know that public school students are being taught by the some of the most talented educators this nation has seen in more than 40 years. On National Teacher Day, NEA and its 2.8 million members are saluting teachers, America's heroes, for making public schools great for every child."
Trend #4: The teaching corps in public schools does not reflect the diversity of the student population.
-1. More teachers of color are needed. Nearly four out of every 10 students is a minority (40.5 %), yet the teaching profession is overwhelmingly white (90%).i Some 40 percent of all public schools have no minority teachers on staff.iii Additionally, fewer than half of teachers participate in professional development related to managing diversity in the classroom.i
-1. The percentage of African-American teachers is the lowest since 1971 (6%).i Only five percent of the nation's teachers are Hispanics, Asians or are from other ethnic groups.i
Classroom success depends on cultural diversity. Some research suggests students of color perform better-academically, personally and socially-when taught by teachers from their own ethnic

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