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Representation in the classroom: The effect of own-race teachers on student achievement

Author

Listed:
  • Egalite, Anna J.
  • Kisida, Brian
  • Winters, Marcus A.

Abstract

Previous research suggests that there are academic benefits when students and teachers share the same race/ethnicity because such teachers can serve as role models, mentors, advocates, or cultural translators. In this paper, we obtain estimates of achievement changes as students are assigned to teachers of different races/ethnicities from grades 3 through 10 utilizing a large administrative dataset provided by the Florida Department of Education that follows the universe of test-taking students in Florida public schools from 2001–2002 through 2008–2009. We find small but significant positive effects when black and white students are assigned to race-congruent teachers in reading (.004–.005 standard deviations) and for black, white and Asian/Pacific Island students in math (.007–.041 standard deviations). We also examine the effects of race matching by students' prior performance level, finding that lower-performing black and white students appear to particularly benefit from being assigned to a race-congruent teacher.

Suggested Citation

  • Egalite, Anna J. & Kisida, Brian & Winters, Marcus A., 2015. "Representation in the classroom: The effect of own-race teachers on student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 44-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:45:y:2015:i:c:p:44-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.01.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
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    6. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "How and Why do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 12828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1995. "Did teachers' verbal ability and race matter in the 1960s? Coleman revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, March.
    8. Robst, John & Keil, Jack & Russo, Dean, 1998. "The effect of gender composition of faculty on student retention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 429-439, October.
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    10. Winters, Marcus A. & Haight, Robert C. & Swaim, Thomas T. & Pickering, Katarzyna A., 2013. "The effect of same-gender teacher assignment on student achievement in the elementary and secondary grades: Evidence from panel data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 69-75.
    11. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2593-2632, September.
    12. Roy Howsen & Michelle Trawick, 2007. "Teachers, race and student achievement revisited," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(14), pages 1023-1027.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M., 2017. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in the Labor Market for Child Care Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 11140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Cynthia (CC) DuBois & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2017. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Guidelines on Teacher Composition and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 24111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jimmy R. Ellis & Seth Gershenson, 2016. "LATE for the meeting: Gender, peer advising, and college success," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 16-262, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gershenson, Seth & Hart, Cassandra M. D. & Lindsay, Constance A. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2017. "The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 10630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Holt, Stephen B. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2016. "Who believes in me? The effect of student–teacher demographic match on teacher expectationsAuthor-Name: Gershenson, Seth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 209-224.
    7. Seth Gershenson & Stephen B. Holt & Nicholas Papageorge, 2015. "Who Believes in Me? The Effect of Student-Teacher Demographic Match on Teacher Expectations," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-231, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. Holt, Stephen B. & Gershenson, Seth, 2015. "The Impact of Teacher Demographic Representation on Student Attendance and Suspensions," IZA Discussion Papers 9554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Race and ethnicity matching; Student/teacher assignment; Minority teachers; Minority students; Achievement gap; Educational economics;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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