Study: Race alters teacher expectations of students

Public school teachers are more skeptical that black and Hispanic students will succeed academically, according to a new Johns Hopkins University study.

The researchers tracked about 8,400 tenth-graders across the nation and asked teachers how far they would go in school.

They found:

  • white and other non-black teachers were 12 percentage points more likely than black teachers to predict black students wouldn’t finish high school.
  • white teachers were 20 percentage points less likely to expect black and Hispanic students to complete a college
  • degree.

  • black women teachers had the highest expectations of any demographic to believe black students would graduate from high school.
  • male and math teachers were more likely to have lower expectations of female students.

The researchers worry that “systematic biased beliefs” may impact how teachers educate students.

“While a teacher’s perceptions reflect their current views or abilities or traits, their expectations are prone to self-fulfilling prophecies,” the researchers wrote.

The study is similar to other research that shows racial disparities in student achievement and discipline. Some black students in Georgia in recent months have raised concerns about research that shows black and Hispanic students are disproportionally disciplined.

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