Courtesy of Jamel Holmes
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As a kid, Jamel Holmes knew he wanted to be a teacher. He would spend rainy days giving spelling tests and playing math games with other children in his apartment building in New York's South Bronx.

But throughout elementary school, Holmes never had a teacher who looked like him. It wasn't until seventh grade that he had his first Black male teacher—Mr. Emdin. In some ways, he was lucky. Nearly 80% of teachers in the U.S. are white, and many Americans go their entire educations without having even one non-white teacher.

Teachers of color make a difference, which is why education nonprofit DonorsChoose has teamed up with The Allstate Foundation to support them. According to research from Johns Hopkins University and American University, having at least one Black teacher in grades three through five reduces the likelihood of Black students dropping out of high school by up to 39% and increases the likelihood that students from low-income households will aspire to attend college. An analysis published in Education Next also found that Black teachers tend to have higher expectations of Black students, which contributes to greater success.

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