Teachers | local | Education

PPS Falls Short On Minority Hiring In Every Category

OPB | July 21, 2014 12:06 a.m. | Updated: July 21, 2014 7:31 a.m.

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Portland Public Schools has fallen short of its minority hiring goals in every staffing category, according to a new district analysis. That’s just one dimension of an equity analysis headed to school board members.

Tiffany Hall recently returned to Oregon from Pennsylvania. She is hoping to find work as an elementary school teacher. She attended an April job fair.

Tiffany Hall recently returned to Oregon from Pennsylvania. She is hoping to find work as an elementary school teacher. She attended an April job fair.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

Portland’s equity plan calls for a 44 percent minority representation in its workforce. Such a percentage would closely mirror the ethnic diversity of Portland’s student body.

But a new analysis shows no worker category is higher than 38 percent minority, and that’s for assistant principals who aren’t in the classroom. Teachers of color are less than one-fifth of classroom instructors.

The district’s analysis comes on the heels of a statewide report, finding minority teachers are not being hired as quickly as state law intends.

An ACCESS program classroom in March, 2013. 

An ACCESS program classroom in March, 2013. 

Rob Manning / OPB

But minority hiring is only one of Portland Public’s seven equity goals. Most of the other metrics relate to minority students.

The analysis finds that students of color are underrepresented in Talented and Gifted programs, particularly African-American and Latino students. Conversely, those minority groups are more likely to be part of the district’s special education programs.

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