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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice? Teacher Perceptions of Black Girls in the Classroom


  • Dania Francis



This paper uses national data on eighth grade female students and their English, math and science teachers to examine teacher perceptions of student behavior, such as attentiveness and disruptiveness. Particular attention is paid to differences in perception by student race and socioeconomic status. I find that black female students are perceived as less attentive and more disruptive than their white, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts. Controlling for academic performance and socioeconomic status mitigates the differences in perceptions of attentiveness but not disruptiveness. Further, the perceptions of attentiveness are significantly related to the probability that a teacher recommends a student for honors courses. I discuss the implications of these findings for the educational outcomes of black female students. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Dania Francis, 2012. "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice? Teacher Perceptions of Black Girls in the Classroom," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 311-320, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:39:y:2012:i:3:p:311-320
    DOI: 10.1007/s12114-011-9098-y

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    Cited by:

    1. Shanyce Campbell, 2012. "For Colored Girls? Factors that Influence Teacher Recommendations into Advanced Courses for Black Girls," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 389-402, December.


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