Black Students Who Have At Least One Black Teacher Are More Likely to Graduate

The study suggests having at least one black teacher in third through fifth grades reduced a black student's probability of dropping out of school by 29 percent. They are also 18 percent more likely to express interest in college


There are short-term benefits to pairing students with teachers of the same race. For instance, a new study suggests that black students who have at least one black teacher in college are more likely to graduate from high school. They are significantly considered as students who regularly attend college.

The study was conducted by scientists from the Johns Hopkins University that suggests that having at least one black teacher reduced the rate by 29% of black student’s drop out.

Co-author Nicholas Papageorge, an assistant professor in JHU’s Department of Economics said, “Black students matched to black teachers have been shown to have higher test scores. But we wanted to know if these student-teacher racial matches had longer-lasting benefits. We found the answer is a resounding yes.”

We’re seeing spending just one year with a teacher of the same race can move the dial on one of the most frustratingly persistent gaps in educational attainment—that of low-income black boys. It not only moves the dial, it moves the dial in a powerful way.”

Scientists studied about 100,000 black students who entered third grade in North Carolina public schools between 2001 and 2005. During this duration, they found that almost 13% students dropped out the school. And the remaining who completed graduation didn’t have any goal to pursue.

At the other hand, the less income black students who assigned with a black teacher are less likely to drop out the school. They were also 18 percent more likely to express interest in college when they graduated.

It means, having more than one black teacher improved outcomes for these students.

To analyze more about it, scientists looked at kindergarten’s students and participated in participated in the Project STAR class-size reduction experiment. Here, they found that students who had at least one black teacher in kindergarten are 15 percent less likely to drop out. It also increased the student’s chances of taking a college entrance exam by 10 percent.

Papageorge said, “If having a teacher with high expectations for you matters in high school, imagine how much it matters in the third grade. Many of these kids can’t imagine being an educated person, and perhaps that’s because they’ve never seen one that looks like them. Then they get to spend a whole year with one. This one black teacher can change a student’s entire future outlook.”

“This could change a student’s chance at success by getting him into a classroom with a teacher of the same race.”

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