For the first time in American history, non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered in public schools

Compiled by Nicole Shepard, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Tue, Aug. 26, 2014, 4:15 a.m. MDT

 Teacher Talking To Elementary Pupils In Classroom

Teacher Talking To Elementary Pupils In Classroom

(monkeybusinessimages, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For the first time in American history, schools are in for a massive demographic shift. This fall the overall number of Latino, African-American, Native and Asian students will outnumber non-Hispanic white students.

This shift is attributed to the growth in the Latino and Asian populations and the steep decline in the white population.

According to the 2010 Census Analysis, Latinos and Asians, the second- and third-largest ethnic groups, respectively, will surpass whites by 2043 — seven years earlier than previous projections.

Though this is not a surprise, the shift concerns educators on a practical level.

“The enrollment milestone underscores a host of challenges for educators,” reported Education Week, “including more students living in poverty, more who will require English-language instruction, and more whose life experiences will differ from those of their teachers, who remain overwhelmingly white.”

In an educational culture that leans heavily on measuring performance via standardized tests, educators and administrators worry over what this will mean not only on local, but global scales.

"Over the decades, we have not managed to reduce the variation in performance between kids of color and white kids, and we haven't closed the gap between advantaged kids and disadvantaged kids," Kent McGuire, Southern Education Foundation, told Education Week, "so now we have to figure out how to do something we've never done before, for the majority."

Others say that the demographic shift will change priorities for the better, refocusing resources on those who need them most.

In light of this summer’s rallies during the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board, some parents and educators believe that the shift will force the country to deal with its disparities.

“This country is not preparing for this momentous demographic shift that will create a ‘new majority.’ The most pressing problem is that today’s minorities are not getting the help they need to fully participate in the entrepreneurial economy,” Dr. Leonard Greenhalgh, professor of education management at Dartmouth, wrote for Diversity Business.

Greenhalgh’s concern is that in order for the U.S. to remain economically competitive on a global scale, the country needs a “growing infusion of knowledge-based ventures to sustain the entrepreneurial economy” that’ll replace the failing corporations of today.

“Despite these growing needs, minorities as a group are not getting the education the country needs them to have,” Greenhalgh said, “nor are their enterprises getting the help they need to survive, prosper, grow to scale, and take their place in the economic system.”

TWITTER: @NicoleEShepard EMAIL: nshepard@deseretnews.com

1. Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA,
Aug. 26, 2014

Liberal Ted - Spare us the persecution complex. Until you're forced to learn Spanish and all corporations, government institutions, educational facilities, social constructs, religious influence, etc, etc... are run by a race other than the one currently dominated by the white male and multiple laws are passed to subvert your ability to make a living in this nation then your rant is inane and misplaced.

BYUalum - Yes, blame the gays and the immigrants; classic scapegoating. BTW: when we liberals "accept" LGBTQ for who they are, that doesn't magically produce more gays out of thin air. Further, you should spent some time reviewing the state-by-state marriage data. Though it's not a drastic difference, on the whole, the states that don't allow SSM will typically have more divorce, more children out of wedlock, etc.... So, sounds like the way to strengthen hetero marriage is to allow SSM and do away with the implicit theocratic machinations present in conservative state politics.

2. UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

Stalwart Sentinel - Spare us the lack of and ability to look ahead. Spare us the left winged rhetoric that does not want to do anything to correct or fix a problem before it is too late to gain a few votes and then go back in the ground to figure out another way to manipulate society to think they are for them when ultimately they are only out for themselves and a congressional pension.

Also with regards to a comment to BYUalum. The comment is argumentative and does not coinside with what BYU alum said. Nobody said more gays are produced out of thin air. What was said is they cannot produce together, which the can't, unless you know of some unknown science phenomenon. And the borders are in issue with latino illegals crossing and being able to stay.

Ultimately, the problem is liberals who want progression, then complain about the problems it causes and blame the other side, accuse them of being racist, etc. You have to plan, then act. You can't take action and then try to get the other side to come up with a plan to fix your problem. Make sense? Yeah it does!

3. Sequoya
Stafford, VA,
Aug. 26, 2014

Let me add that I may find it pejorative to be called "White." "White" implies "evil," as in colorless and uninteresting!

So, I may be very offended if, when referring to me, I'm not described as (you'll need a 3"X5" card to remember this, I'm sure):

English-Irish-Scot-Irish--Scottish of the Matheson-Clan--Norwegian Viking of the Warband of Thorfinn the Skull-Splitter--Saxon-German--Cherokee of the Chickamauga Band--AMERICAN!!!

(These are my actual ancestors, and I promise to have a public nuclear-conniption if they are not acknowledged!! ;-) ) ... and remember, I'm not just any old funky Cherokee, Viking or Scot -- the Clan and Band matter too (especially in Utah!).

** Matheson, or Clan "McMathan" means "Son of the Bear." -- probably going back to Clan of the Cave Bear or some such.

4. Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

As we continue to move forward towards a beautiful carmel colored human race.
Yes progress is a good thing, even if it means, I'm no longer part of the majority.
Utah is doing it's fair share to be fruitful and multiply, but now that interracial marriage is acceptable (progress) you aren't getting that pure white race. This is a good thing, as a pure race doesn't exist anyway and those who believe it does, generally abuse the idea.

Guess I'm not afraid of the future.

Then again I don't listen to "Fear Radio" daily.

5. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

Re 'liberal ted'

The reason for affirmative action for certain minorities isn't because they are minorities. But because of past and in some cases ongoing discrimination.