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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Minority faculty, teachers increasing

Twenty years ago, the Rio Grande Valley’s world of education administration was a sea of white faces. No one else was trained to hold the positions, said Stephen Stark, full professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development (EAHR).
“Now, (it has) totally changed,” Stark said. “A Hispanic with a doctor’s degree, in the Valley, is a hot commodity.”
When it comes to hiring for principal and teaching positions, professor of political science Kenneth J. Meier said, Latinos and African Americans compete for positions, but in the classroom, when it comes to student performance, they complement each other.
A report was published in the September edition of Political Research Quarterly and was put together by the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance (PERG).
“As might be expected, where scarce positions are involved, e.g., school administrators and faculty, competition is the norm. … In the area of student performance, however, the two minority groups are complementary.”
Stark said that he has seen 50 Hispanics and blacks finish the EAHR department program, and that they have not faced challenges in getting jobs.
“As fast as we graduate them and give them their license to practice,” Stark said, “… these people are grabbed up and their upward mobility has been incredible.”
In the study, Meier found that black and Latino representation on the school board is positively associated with more black and Latino administrators, respectively.
But, Meier also found that the more Latino administrators there were, the fewer the black administrators and vice versa.
Meier said in the report that this competition is more than just a function of race and ethnicity.
“Each district has a limited number of administrators and teachers. Scarcity, thus, induces competition,” he said.
In the arena of student achievement, though, the presence of both black and Latinos complement each other.
“The higher one minority pass rate,” Meier said, “the higher the other.”
Mario S. Torres Jr., assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, said that realistically there are still many positions available.
“The idea that race plays a factor is gonna happen,” Torres said. “(It is a) natural behavior on the part of the school.”
Torres said the context in which race is used is key.
“According to Supreme Court laws,” Torres said, “(one) cannot use race as a sole factor.”
Meier said the relationship between representation and job hiring has always held.
“To diversify,” Meier said, “(you) win political power.”
Meier said that if more issues could be framed in terms of student performance, this would benefit both groups in terms of relations and outcome.

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