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Research suggests that many public school teachers are not prepared to deal with the growing number of diverse students in the schools. Questions are raised by researchers about the ability of the current teaching force to adequately meet the needs of the growing number of students of Color in the schools. Small-scale qualitative studies find that many White teachers feel unsure of their ability to teach students of Color, tend to hold stereotypical beliefs about urban students and/ or students of Color, and tend to use cultural deficiency models for explaining their academic performance. To date, no quantitative studies have attempted to systematically measure the racial attitudes of teachers as a group in the United States. This paper provides a descriptive analysis of White teachers’ racial attitudes with an attempt to understand how these attitudes differ from the attitudes of the general public. Results indicate that generally teachers have racial attitudes that are similar to the general public, however teachers hold less tolerant attitudes when it comes to measures of equal treatment and social distance compared to nonteachers.


At the time of publication Amanda Moras was affiliated with the University of Connecticut, Storrs.