It was recently confirmed by a research study that black students who are taught by black teachers actually perform better. Although the study was performed in just one state, the results have raised many questions as to whether or not race matters when it comes to teachers.
Low-performing black and white students showed the most benefit
The study involved several million students, both black and white, in the state of Florida. The students' performance was reviewed for over 7 years. Black, white and Asian students all performed better when each group was taught by a teacher of the same race. For example:
- Black and white students had better reading scores on the state test when they were taught by teachers who look like them.
- Black, white and Asian/Pacific Island students had higher math scores when taught by teachers who look like them.
The test scores were from students in grades 3-10. Interestingly, the study found that while nonwhite teachers resulted in improved performance among non-white students, a non-white teacher who teaches among white students did not negatively affect the performance of white students.
Need for diversity
Anna Egalite, who co-authored the study, believes the results demonstrate the need to diversify the teacher workforce. She stated that "It would do a world of good to attract talented minority teachers.”
For more details about the study, visit www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775715000084