07/11/07 — Duplin looking to recruit more minority teachers

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Duplin looking to recruit more minority teachers

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 11, 2007 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County needs more black and Hispanic teachers, but assistant school superintendent Candace Turk told the Board of Education last week that she has some new contacts that should help in recruiting teachers.

She said she met the new contacts while on a trip to Mexico in June.

About 15 percent of the teachers in Duplin's public schools are minorities, but B.F. Grady Elementary School alone has a Hispanic student population of 54 percent. Dr. Turk said the entire state is having trouble mirroring the student populations with teachers.

Not enough black teachers are graduating from historically black universities in North Carolina, too. So Dr. Turk is looking outside the state to places like Pennsylvania and New York, where there are more new teachers from which to choose. In Buffalo, N.Y., she was told for every teaching job that comes open, there are 100 black applicants.

The Mexican government has agreed to sponsor a teacher exchange with the United States, but even teachers from that country who want to teach in the U.S. sometimes have trouble making their licenses match certifications in the U.S. If they have a master's degree, they have no problem, but those with bachelor's degrees run into differences in credentials that must be overcome.

One of the contacts she met in Mexico was a representative from a private university that is helping Mexican teachers get the proper credentials to teach in U.S. schools through a program in Houston, Texas.