Educators' perceptions of the factors that contribute to the shortage of minority teachers in select Mississippi Gulf Coast schools

Myron B. Labat

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine educators' perceptions of what factors contribute to the shortage of minority teachers in select school districts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Data were collected and analyzed to detect whether there is a significant difference in the perceptions of minority educators and the perceptions of non minority educators on what the factors are that contribute to the shortage of minority teachers on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Data was collected through the use of a survey which was sent to teachers, counselors, and administrators in select schools along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A quantitative methodology was conducted within various schools along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The sample (N = 134) of teachers, counselors, and administrators were employed in schools at levels K-12 and central office. An independent samples t test was conducted to analyze the similarities and differences in perceptions of minority and non minority educators on what factors contribute to the shortage of minority teachers. The statistical analysis revealed that minorities and non-minorities both disagreed with the idea that minorities do not consider teachers as being professionals. The results of the study also suggest that school districts allowing minorities to assist in the recruiting of other minorities should increase the retention of those minority educators. It is also strongly suggested that school districts employ more aggressive recruiting techniques if they are to significantly increase the minority teacher population within their districts. A third recommendation made through the research findings is that schools and school districts should pay close attention to supporting minority teachers who encounter difficult students and parents, if they are to retain those minority teachers.