The ETHS campus.

The percentage of minority teachers at Evanston Township High School is getting closer to the percentage white educators, but a large gap still remains, according to school officials.

“Our efforts are bearing fruit,” Scott Bramley, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources told the District 202 Board of Education on Monday night.

District 202 Board of Education meeting Monday night.

While 65% of the current certificated staff of 336 (teachers, librarians, counselors, etc) are white, the board was told, new hires for the current school year are 61% individuals of color.

“We flipped this,” Bramley said, regarding the high percentage of minority hires.

That’s the faculty.

As for who they teach, it will take some time to get the staff percentages closer to the student body percentage, which is 46% white, 25% Black, 19% Hispanic, and smaller percentages of Asian and two or more races.

Many studies have shown that minority students have higher academic achievement when at least some of their teachers are minority group members as well.

With equity in mind, recruiting has become more important than ever before, in trying to get a teaching staff which roughly mirrors the student population.

“Gone are the days of just posting a job opening and having people apply for it,” Bramley said.

“There’s a need,” he said, “to diversify our approach.”

So last spring, Bramley said, ETHS began working with Chicago State University, a predominantly Black institution in this area, trying to attract more candidates.

ETHS also plans to work with Central State University, an HBCU in Ohio. While most teachers end up working near where they grew up, or went to college, Bramley said, Illinois is now reducing bureaucratic obstacles for out-of-state teachers to be licensed here.

He also talked of ETHS “growing its own” teachers, particularly minority educators.

The high school is looking to start a teacher residency program, something already being done by Evanston/Skokie District 65.

Unlike the traditional student teaching model, where those working on their degrees student teach for one semester while attending college, teacher residents teach for an entire school year, get paid, and, at least at District 65, are guaranteed a job upon completion of the program. Residents also earn a master’s degree.

Bramley said ETHS is in discussion with Northwestern University about such a residency program, and may also look into one with Chicago State, which would have a different student demographic mix.

It may also help to start even earlier than college.

Long-term, Bramley noted, “we need introduction to teaching” classes, where ETHS students can start to find out if a future teaching career is for them.

While the percentage of minority teaching hires has jumped this year, over the past few years the needle has not moved very much on narrowing the gap between white teachers and teachers of color at ETHS.

Board Vice-President Monique Parsons said the high percentage of new minority employees this year is “really good,” but it also needs to be “something we can start from and improve on.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation


  1. Shouldn’t ETHS hire the best teachers? That would make everyone feel better. Sounds superficial to make hiring decisions based on one’s appearance. Would MLK sanction this?

  2. One day all the discussion about the color of a job candidate’s or new hire’s skin will be evidence in a racial discrimination lawsuit, both here and in D65.

  3. Focusing on recruiting more POC as teachers is a great and noble idea, but it should be done without lowering academic standards. Evanston had been known as the diverse school that largely held education to the high standards of the north shore. This is important in part, for potentially high achieving low income youth to have an equal playing field and equal access to the top rungs of higher education and professional careers. We should be expanding our outreach to diverse teacher candidates at top universities like Northwestern, as well as top historically black universities such as Howard. Evanston has something to offer teachers who are POC in the rare opportunity to give back and serve many students who are low income and POC while at the same time teaching at a well-paying and highly regarded high school; this is the message we should get out to high achieving, diverse teacher candidates from well-regarded universities nationwide. We should actively and broadly court top diversity teacher talent while keeping the high academic standards that ETHS is known for.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Opportunity should be universally available, but not at the expense of quality. Equity focused outcomes invoke lowered standards- at least in the publics’ mind. This is why so many people resist the progressive agenda. Only when the public is darn sure someone really earned their pilots license, they’ll feel good (as good as they can) about getting on the plane, or going under the knife. Equity at any cost puts steam in the Tea Party’s kettle, but some progressives don’t get it.

  4. I am all for diversity. But I hope Evanston doesn’t open itself up to another lawsuit for disparate impact in their recruitment practices on white, Asian, and/or people over 40. Bromleys statement – “Gone are the days of just posting a job opening and having people apply for it,” is legally frightening. Bromley is targeting one race over others. That’s a no no in most situations.

    Recruiting at a colleges that
    are mainly of one race – leaves out other candidates (and people 40 and up). Title VII mandates equality in hiring. Unless Evanston schools are under an affirmative action plan – they have to follow the laws. Diversity is great only if done right and within legal boundaries. Evanston is flirting with the potential of a Title VII lawsuit.

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