Research from Johns Hopkins University reinforces the case for recruiting and placing more Black teachers in predominantly African-American schools.
According to the Washington Post, the study says race has a significant impact on the level of achievement teachers expect from their students—raising fresh concerns about the consequences of teachers’ unconscious bias on the stubbornly persistent achievement gap.
Johns Hopkins economist and study co-author Nicholas Papageorge said in a statement that researchers found Black and White teachers had systemic disagreements in how they evaluated the same student.
He added: “If I’m a teacher and decide that a student isn’t any good, I may be communicating that to the student. A teacher telling a student they’re not smart will weigh heavily on how that student feels about their future and perhaps the effort they put into doing well in school.”
The study found that White teachers are 30 percent less likely than a Black teacher to believe the same Black student would graduate from a four-year college. Differences in expectations for high school graduation was even dimmer—40 percent.
When the student in question is a Black boy, all the disparities are greater. But Black female teachers stood in their corner. The study discovered that Black female instructors are by far the most optimistic about Black boys succeeding academically.
The Post noted that this study builds on previous evidence of how a teacher’s race could affect their regard for students, as well as evidence of race-based bias in grading.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty