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Abstract

This study addresses one possible barrier to more African American (or Black) males with learning disabilities moving through the educational pipeline – the dearth of African American (or Black) teachers. Despite recent attention being given to the educational benefits to Black (and other) students from the presence and contributions of Black teachers, the K-12 teacher labor market in the United States remains largely represented by White teachers. In order to assess whether Black teachers are treated unfairly in this labor market, the notion of competitive labor markets eroding racial disparities over time is studied. In particular, this study builds on prior work analyzing racial earnings and employment differences in the K-12 teaching labor market in the United States by Dantzler et al (2014) and examines the wage differential between Black and White teachers that remains after controlling for factors likely to affect wages in addition to race as well as attempt to understand employment probability disparities in the labor market, based on membership in a minority racial/ethnic group. The study’s contribution to the literature is decomposing wage and probit regression equations following Blinder (1973) and Oaxaca (1973), revealing non-trivial portions of differentials which cannot be explained by differences in productive characteristics. Therefore, one cannot rule out the possibility of racial disparities in the K-12 teaching labor market or the need for targeted Black teacher recruitment and retention strategies in order to enhance the capacity of schools to better serve students such as African American males with learning disabilities.

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