New Study Shows Students Benefit from Same Race Teachers

A new study links student success to having teachers of the same race.

A new study links student success to having teachers of the same race.

By Free Radical

Further evidence has materialized that students benefit when they have teachers that belong to their race. A study conducted by scholars Anna J. Egalite and Brian Kisida and published by the American Educational Research Association surveyed 80,000 public school students from grades four through eight.Their results showed that when students had teachers of the same race they felt “more cared for, more interested in their schoolwork, and more confident in their teachers’ abilities to communicate with them” according to NPR.

Conversely, students who had teachers who did not look like them experienced a reverse effect. This was particularly the case for Black students, even more so with Black girls.

The study follows a report published in April which concluded that Black students who had at least one elementary school teacher of the same race were more likely to graduate from high school than those who did not.

The implications are far reaching. Current statistics show that only 18% of the current teaching force is composed of instructors of color. Therefore, White students have an advantage over Blacks and Hispanics who are more less likely to have teachers who look like them.

Remedies include an aggressive recruitment of teachers of color. Yet structural changes such as incentives in teacher pay, student loan forgiveness, and greater flexibility in the classroom are also possible solutions to attract the most qualified applicants who sometimes choose more financially rewarding occupations.

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