No doubt you saw the headlines last week: One read, Having Just One Black Teacher Can Keep Black Kids in School.
Studies have shown repeatedly that black teachers have higher expectations of black children (which is another way of saying that white teachers are racist).
But the study results that splashed across media platforms most recently showed the long-term effects of having a single black teacher in third, fourth, or fifth grade. Low-income black boys in those grades, who were randomly assigned to a black teacher, were found to be 29% more likely to want to go to college and 39% less likely to drop out of high school. The effect was greatest among this group, though most black students were positively affected.
On one hand, this is good news. The results indicate that persistent attainment gaps can be narrowed by strategic policy changes. If by having one black teacher in one of those grades a poor black boy begins to think that college is for him and not just for others that may, indeed, be good news.
My concern is that this research could be used in less enlightened ways and that the poorest kids would get black teachers, …read more