Black Under-Reps in Administrative Positions
One of the storied areas of social justice that has needed acknowledgement and reform countless times is in the realm of education. It’s often plagued by its history and the problems the future holds. One of the main injustices that lies in education is misrepresentation and under-representation. One of the key parties that suffer from misrepresentation and under representation are the African Americans. However, it is fair to say that other minorities as well suffer from this. To focus this even more, it is the under-representation of African Americans in positions that oversee the student body. Throughout American history, African Americans have fought for equality and a fair chance in many aspects of life thus far. And that has led to a much more diverse student body overall specifically in colleges/universities. The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics reported that The percentage of American college students who are Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Black and all other major minorities, have increased. The percentage of Blacks amongst other minorities attending college over the past 50 years has risen from 10% to 15%. That doesn’t seem like much of a growth, but in that same period of time White students have dropped nearly 20%. While a lack of diversity in the student body is an injustice in itself, the trends could point to that slowly but surely changing. However, the real injustice is the lack of proper representation in the administration sectors of colleges and universities. In an excerpt from A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective from Jerlando F.L. Jackson article in The Negro Journal, we see that this injustice is on the radar of scholars as well what may be the cause of the issue and possible solutions. “Fundamentally, it stands to reason that, those making decisions for a diverse student population, should themselves be diverse…The higher and postsecondary education research literature abounds with recommendations for retaining and advancing students and faculty of color. However, little empirical or practice-based knowledge is provided” (Jackson, 2004). Jackson provides a possible solution of building a conceptual framework, while also producing the proper knowledge for policy implementation. Also it should be identified who possess administration positions that lead to executive positions at colleges and universities that are African Americans. “An examination of the status for African American in leadership positions is needed to help facilitate the development and advancement for the next generation of leaders.” (Jackson, 2004). Also in a excerpt from a collaborative article Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership In Schools from Khaula Murtadha and Daud Malik Watts also acknowledge this injustice with the under representation of powerful black administrators. “Woodson argued that there were serious problems with inaccurate, ill-planned, depoliticized curriculum content and lack of resources, as well as problems with the poor, unethical preparation of teachers.” (Woodson [The Mis-Education of the Negro], Murtadha and Watts, 2005). African American educational leaders then worked to overcome these barriers and pushed to bring Black leaders of education and their staff to the forefront. However, these stories and accounts have not been incorporated into the literature of school administration, leadership, reform and change. (Murtadha and Watts, 2005). The central cause for this injustice seems to be a lack of awareness. Also,in J. Luke Wood’s Ethical Dilemmas in African American Faculty Representation we get a numbers perspective of this injustice. “Black faculty represented merely five percent of the professoriate in 2003 (NCES, 2006). However, when viewed in light of the percentage of African American students, a disparity is seen in that African American students accounted for 12.5% of the enrollment of college and universities in 2004 (NCES, 2006b). Additionally, while African American faculty represent nearly the same numbers as they did more than two decades ago(Trower and Chait, 2002), the total percentage of the Black population in the United States has increased from 11.7% in 190 to 12.3% in 2000 (Hobbs and Stoops, 2002) (Wood, 2008)” Wood also highlited that while Black adminstrators are under-represented, there is research that shows that African American faculty are just as valuable and maybe even more effective than their other counterparts. He quotes that Black faculty are more likely to engage and collaborate, take on diversity related activities that will help their students learn to function and work in a diverse society, and spend more time working on their teaching strategy and advising students. However, again it is a lack of awareness, education, and other factors involving complications such as Affirmative Action that hurt possible reform. African Americans are under-represented in education leader positions, due mostly to a lack of awareness and education. We must increase awareness, educate our youth no matter the race, and make Black educational leader positions desireable.
-Postsecondary Enrollment Rates. (Retrieved 2015, February, 15) from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98
-Murtadha, Khaula and Watts, Daud Malik, Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership in Schools. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://eaq.sagepub.com/content/41/4/591.abstract
-Jackson, Jerlando F.L.  A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3211255?sid=21105869691133&uid=70&uid=4&uid=2129&uid=3739256&uid=3739664&uid=2
-Wood, J. Luke Ethical Dilemmas in African American Faculty Representation. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://nau.edu/uploadedFiles/Academic/COE/About/Projects/Ethical%20Dilemmas%20in%20African%20American%20Faculty%20Representation.pdf