What's in a Match? Disentangling the Significance of Teacher Race/Ethnicity
41 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 15, 2016
A growing body of literature documents that black and Hispanic students benefit from teachers who share their racial/ethnic background. Despite this evidence, data limitations have prevented researchers from analyzing how students’ actual experiences in the classroom vary by teacher race/ethnicity. The current study addresses this gap. Using over 56,000 new student surveys, I provide the first large-scale evidence on the specific ways in which matched teachers affect student experience. Comparing students within the same school, I find that matched black and Hispanic students report significantly better experiences than their non-matched peers. This relative advantage does not appear to be driven by difficulties reported with non-matched teachers and emerges primarily in middle school English Language Arts classrooms.
Keywords: Race/ethnicity, teacher-student relationships, matching effects, Tripod student survey, Measures of Effective Teaching Study
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