Having An African-American Teacher Can Significantly Decrease Drop Out Rates Among Black Students

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald April 13, 10:35 pm

A study revealed that having a same-race teacher can significantly reduce dropout rates among African-American students. Researchers found one black teacher in third, fourth and fifth grade can minimize the number of low-income African-American student's drop-out rate by 39 percent.

African-American students are more likely to graduate high school and get impressive GPAs if they'd have at least one same-race teacher during their elementary years. The students also have a stronger expectation that they will be going to college as a result of having a black teacher.

These findings were published in IZA Institute of Labor Economics. The authors, Seth Gershenson and Constance A. Lindsay of American University, Cassandra M.D. Hart of U.C. Davis and Nicholas Papageorge at Johns Hopkins, studied the records of 100,000 African-American elementary students in North Carolina. They then did a comparison to by taking a look at the records of the students who when to Tennessee, according to NPR.

The students who had one black teacher during their elementary years graduated high school with impressive grades. The strikingly positive results impressed the researchers. The published paper was an addition to another finding for social science.

The study on the correlation of having the same race teacher and the African-American student's GPA paved way for educators to consider teachers of the same race during elementary education. The paper also prompted schools to train teachers to be more culturally responsive and disregard culture biased teaching.

Biases are not just limited to the law, but it is applicable to the educational system as well. As per a previous NPR article, there are cases wherein white teachers are more receptive to students of the same color.

Black students, on the other hand, are often recommended for gifted programs by teachers of color. African-American families are often thankful for schools with black teachers as they can see the positive impact of the teacher towards their child's learning.

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