The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers
64 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2018 Last revised: 4 Jul 2021
Date Written: November 2018
We examine the long-run impacts of exposure to a Black teacher for both Black and white students. Leveraging data from the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment, we show that Black students randomly assigned to at least one Black teacher in grades K-3 are 9 percentage points (13%) more likely to graduate from high school and 6 percentage points (19%) more likely to enroll in college than their same-school, same-race peers. No effect is found for white students. We replicate these findings using quasi-experimental methods to analyze a richer administrative data set from North Carolina. The increase in postsecondary enrollments is concentrated in two-year degree programs, which is somewhat concerning because two-year colleges have both lower returns and lower completion rates than four-year colleges and universities. These long-run effects are also concentrated among Black males from disadvantaged backgrounds, which is not evident in short run analyses of same-race teachers' impacts on test scores. These nuanced patterns are of policy relevance themselves and also underscore the importance of directly examining long-run treatment effects as opposed to extrapolating from estimated short-run effects.
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