Sunday, April 9, 2017

Study: Black students from poor families are more likely to graduate high school if they have at least one black teacher - The Washington Post

Study: Black students from poor families are more likely to graduate high school if they have at least one black teacher - The Washington Post:

Study: Black students from poor families are more likely to graduate high school if they have at least one black teacher



A new study says that assigning black students from low-income black families to at least one black teacher in the third, fourth or fifth grades reduces the probability that they drop out of high school by 29 percent. The results are even larger for male African American students from persistently low-income families: Their chance of dropping out of high school falls 39 percent.
The study also found that black students of both sexes from low-income families are more likely to aspire to attend a four-year college if they have at least one black teacher between third and fifth grades There was, however, no effect found of having a same-race teacher on the dropout decisions of female students, “perhaps due to females’ significantly higher baseline graduation rates,” the study said.
The results are the latest in a growing body of evidence that race affects how teachers view and treat their students. As my colleague Emma Brown wrote in this story, black students taught by white teachers are less likely to be identified for gifted programs than black students taught by black teachers and biases exist in teachers’ grading of work by students of different genders, races and ethnicities.
The new study was published by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics, an independent economic research institute in Germany, and conducted by Seth Gershenson, an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University and IZA; Cassandra M.D. Hart, an assistant professor of education policy at the University of California at Davis; Constance A. Lindsay, a professorial lecturer in the School of Public Affairs of American University; and Nicholas W. Papageorge, assistant professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University and IZA.
The new study goes beyond previous research that showed short-term benefits to pairing students with teachers of the same race, demonstrating longer-term affects. The implications are important, Papageorge said, because policymakers can act quickly to improve black students’ chances of academic success.
“This isn’t a situation where students need two, three or four black teachers to make a difference,” he was quoted as saying in a Johns Hopkins release. “This could be implementable tomorrow. You could literally go into a school right now and switch around the rosters so that every black child gets to face a black teacher.”

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