New study shows that low-income Black boys will drop out significantly less if they have at least one Black teacher
A recent report from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics examining the long-term impact of students taught by teachers of the same race found that poor Black students who have one or more Black teachers in elementary school are much more likely to graduate high school and consider going to college. Having at least one educator of the same race in third through fifth grades diminishes Black student’s probability of dropping out of school by 29 percent, reporting Atlanta Black Star.
The impact of having an African-American teacher in the classroom is even greater for low-income Black boys, as their risk of dropping out of school decreases by a whopping 39 percent.
“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,” Papageorge added. “It not only moves the dial, it moves the dial in a powerful way.”
Researchers examined nearly 100,000 Black students who enrolled in third grade at North Carolina Public Schools between 2001 and 2005. What they found was that 13 percent of these students dropped out of high school, while about half graduated but had no plans to attend college.
The IZA Institute’s research is the first of its kind to how long-term positive effects of Black students being taught by Black teachers. This “race match effect,” also known as the “role model effect” helps explain why researchers feel that a classroom stint with a Black teacher could be so beneficial for young Black students in the long run.
The fact that Black students are largely driven by just one Black teacher “means we can implement this really quickly because it doesn’t require massive changes in hiring policies,” he said. “What I like about our finding is that we can take the teaching force we have today, and we can creatively and thoughtfully reassign students so that they face a Black teacher. I think we can literally start doing that today.”