Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Donald W. Smitley


The purpose of this study was to investigate the affirmative action policies and practices of recruiting, hiring, mentoring and retention of African American teachers and administrators throughout the State of Illinois. Since public elementary and secondary school systems provide numerous and varied jobs in virtually every community in the nation, it is assumed that if a quality education is to be attained, students must be exposed to the variety of cultural perspectives that represent the nation at large (American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, 1990).

This study examined policies and practices of districts throughout the State of Illinois inquiring whether their respective districts actually have active affirmative action policies and a line item set aside for recruitment. The amount of money spent on recruitment and the number of minorities hired annually was directly correlated to the effectiveness of their affirmative action policy. The study also solicited input concerning who should be responsible for recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and retaining African American teachers and administrators.

The findings of this study support the assumption that minority teachers and administrative candidates are not choosing teaching and educational administration as a profession because of factors such as: minimal advancement opportunities from the classroom to administrative positions, lack of a strong network to serve as a support structure within the field of education, and difficulty with the National Teachers Examination (NTE). These factors continue to limit the induction of minority teachers into the profession so they can gain the necessary experience to advance to administrative positions.