review of teacher supply and demand studies, Macias (1989, cited in Leighton et al., 1993) estimates a need for approximately 170,000 additional teachers to serve English-language learners by the year 2000. In its 1994 report on limited English proficiency, the General Accounting Office (U.S. GAO, 1994) cites the National Education Association's estimate that 175,000 additional bilingual teachers are needed. The National Center for Education Statistics (1993:125) Schools and Staffing Survey reveals that during the 1990-91 school year, 37 percent of school administrators who had vacancies in ESL or bilingual education found them "very difficult or impossible to fill." A 1990 California State Department of Education report cited the need for approximately 20,000 ESL and bilingual teachers; the state also reported that more than half of its existing bilingual staff was teaching under waivers (National Forum, 1990). A national survey of teacher placement officers ranked bilingual education as the field with the highest degree of teacher shortage and with the highest demand (Association for School, College, and University Staffing, 1990, cited in Milk et al., 1992).
There are large and increasing numbers of English-language learners and few teachers specially trained to work with them. A widely held assumption is that minority individuals may be especially effective as teachers for these students given similarities in linguistic and cultural background. However, supply and demand studies reveal that as "the student population becomes more culturally heterogeneous, the teaching force is expected to become increasingly homogeneous" (Villegas et al., 1995:6). The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education 1994 report on the multicultural status of today's teaching workforce, Teacher Education Pipeline III (AACTE, 1994), states that while teacher education enrollment has increased by approximately 10 percent since 1989, the racial/ethnic balance of the workforce has not been significantly affected. Only about 14 percent of current public and private school teachers are members of a non-Caucasian racial/ethnic group. Conversely, K-12 minority enrollment has exceeded 31 percent and continues to climb steadily. In teacher education, 85 percent of enrolled students are white, while only about 12 percent are members of a minority group. Pipeline studies reveal that the number of minority teachers is expected to fall to 6 percent by the year 2000 (Spellman, 1988, cited in Hill et al., 1993).
Student demographic projections, supply and demand studies, and analyses of the type of preparation received by teachers serving English-language learners (see Chapter 1) lead to several conclusions. Researchers cite a need to recruit more teachers and provide high-quality development experiences to both preservice and inservice teachers serving these students, particularly given the continuing rapid increase in the number of such students. Many educators and advocates further conclude that the shortage of minority teachers signals a need to increase the pool of professionally trained minority teachers who can serve as role models and cultural brokers for a student population that is growing more and more linguistically and culturally diverse (Villegas et al., 1995; Irvine, 1992).