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Same work, lower grade? Student ethnicity and teachers' subjective assessments

  • Ewijk, R. van

Previous research shows ethnic minority students to receive different grades when taught by majority teachers. This may happen either because of bias in teachers' grading, or because objective student performance is indeed altered. Using an experiment, I examine whether teachers grade minority and majority students differently for the same work. I find no evidence for this. However, teachers report lower expectations and unfavorable attitudes that both likely affect their behavior towards minority students, potentially inducing them to perform below their ability level. Effects of having majority teachers on minority students' grades therefore seem more likely to be indirect than direct.

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Paper provided by Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research in its series Working Papers with number 21.

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Handle: RePEc:tir:wpaper:21
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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.
  2. Lydia Mechtenberg, 2009. "Cheap Talk in the Classroom: How Biased Grading at School Explains Gender Differences in Achievements, Career Choices and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1431-1459.
  3. Betts, Julian R. & Grogger, Jeff, 2003. "The impact of grading standards on student achievement, educational attainment, and entry-level earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 343-352, August.
  4. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves, 2009. "Test Scores, Subjective Assessment and Stereotyping of Ethnic Minorities," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/221, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Rema Hanna & Leigh Linden, 2009. "Measuring Discrimination in Education," NBER Working Papers 15057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  7. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2005. "The Black-White Test Score Gap Through Third Grade," NBER Working Papers 11049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
  9. Colding, Bjørg & Husted, Leif & Hummelgaard, Hans, 2009. "Educational progression of second-generation immigrants and immigrant children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 434-443, August.
  10. Price, Joshua, 2010. "The effect of instructor race and gender on student persistence in STEM fields," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 901-910, December.
  11. Amine Ouazad, 2008. "Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective Evaluations," CEE Discussion Papers 0098, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
  14. Figlio, David N. & Lucas, Maurice E., 2004. "Do high grading standards affect student performance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1815-1834, August.
  15. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  16. Lindahl, Erica, 2007. "Comparing teachers’ assessments and national test results – evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2007:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  17. Fryer, Roland & Echenique, Federico, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," Scholarly Articles 2958220, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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