Race and the principal pipeline: The prevalence of minority principals in light of a largely white teacher workforce

Authors
Imeh Williams,
Susanna Loeb
Year of publication
2012
There are reasons to expect an underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in school leadership positions relative to student populations. Most importantly, underrepresentation of minorities in teaching logically predicts an underrepresentation in school leadership as almost all principals have teaching experience. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveal a low percentage of minority teachers relative to minority students(Aud et al., 2010). Between the school years 1999-00 and 2007-08, the share of minority teachers increased from 15 to 17 percent, meanwhile the share of minority students increased from 39 to 45 percent. In short, the United States experienced an increase in the representation of minority teachers, but the representation of minority students increased by a higher rate, thus intensifying the racial mismatch between students and teachers. Since teaching is a prerequisite for principal jobs in most states, the underrepresentation of minorities in teaching implies that racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the pool of potential principals and may lead to a similar mismatch between principals and students.

Suggested Citation:

Williams, I., & Loeb, S. (2012). Race and the principal pipeline: The prevalence of minority principals in light of a largely white teacher workforce