A Faculty for all Children

Submitted By:
Jessica Sepke, Klingenstein Center, New York, NY

Why Having One Black Teacher Could Help Keep Black Students In School by Anya Kamenetz
KQED Mindshift, April 10, 2017

Underscoring the importance of role models and a sense of belonging, Kamenetz summarizes a recent study that shows that having just one African-American teacher in grades 3-5 can reduce low-income African-American males' probability of dropping out of high school by 39%. The study examined school records of over 100,000 students for whom both the race of elementary teachers and full data about high school outcomes was available. Beyond reducing drop-out rates, the study also found that African-American students who had a same-race teacher in grades 3-5 were more likely to self report that they intended to attend college and more likely to take the SAT and ACT. While issues of ongoing segregation of schools and diversity of the student population are receiving much attention, this study highlights that the makeup of the faculty is essential to the success of students. The study is highly informative for administrators who work to hire and retain teachers as it affirms that a diverse faculty is best for children. For more details, the full study is available at http://ftp.iza.org/dp10630.pdf.

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