March 2, 2020 / Modified mar 2, 2020 11:40 a.m.

Arizona teachers significantly less diverse than students

Experts say a diverse teacher pool can have an impact on student achievement.

360 school lockers File image of a row of lockers in a school.
AZPM Staff

PHOENIX — White teachers account for three of every four Arizona public school teachers, a level significantly higher than the student population.

Experts say it matters because a diverse teacher pool can have an impact on student achievement. The Arizona Republic reports that over half of all Arizona students aren't white, with Hispanics accounting for 46%, black students 5% and Native Americans 5%.

Francesca Lopez, associate dean at the University of Arizona's teaching college, says it's important for students to see parts of their identity reflected in the people at the front of the classroom. According to Lopez, students of color who have a teacher of color perform better in all content areas because, in her words, ”it informs their identity."

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