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Why Teachers Have Low Expectations for Black and Latino Students

By: Krystle Crossman

A teacher is someone that should be a source of support and inspiration for a student. Unfortunately for minority students this is not often the case. Many do poorly in schools simply because their teachers do not believe that they can do well in school and they do not push them as hard as they should. The Center for American Progress published a study that researched whether what the teacher believed about the student in regards to their educational abilities. What they found was that yes, it does influence the student and their progress in school.

During the study CAP found that if a teacher believed in a student and let them know that they thought they were going to graduate college, they were more likely to do just that as opposed to others who had not been told that. They also found that teachers thought that black students were 47% less likely to graduate or even go to college than white students. They feel that students that live in lower class homes were 53% less likely to do well in school as opposed to their wealthier counterparts.

Data was pulled from a study of high school students that ran from 2002-2012. It showed that twice as many white students graduated from college than black students. They interviewed the teachers of sophomore students and asked them whether or not they thought that their students would graduate from college one day. The answers were later compared with the data to see how many graduated. Even though the study is trying to determine whether the teacher’s beliefs had any bearing on a student’s performance they also believed that the teachers knew their students no matter what race they were, and knew what their educational capacities were.

Ulrich Boser, who is with CAP, stated that he was surprised at the results. He said that they expected to see that the students who had the support of the teachers would head to college but they had no idea that the students that were encouraged by their teachers were three times more likely to graduate. In the end the study says that due to these findings, Common Core standards may not be such a bad thing as all of the students will be on a level playing field.

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2 thoughts on “Why Teachers Have Low Expectations for Black and Latino Students

  1. JB

    Sometimes teacher beliefs are justified, especially if someone is publishing articles with illiterate non-sentences like this: “The Center for American Progress published a study that researched whether what the teacher believed about the student in regards to their educational abilities.”
    THAT IS NOT A SENTENCE.

    Reply
  2. sagee

    Granted, the sentence could have been elaborated on further. I picked up on that myself. But to basically call the writer illiterate was arrogant and uncalled for.
    Mainly because one could read any number of articles and find typing errors and misspelled words. That doesn’t deem a person illiterate.
    The point here was very well taken. I’ve recently worked in the school system and African American males, particularly those in Special Education, are treated as if they were invisible. So, any person who considers themselves an educator should want to see their students succeed, no matter the ethnicity. And if they don’t then they are really not educators at all. But merely instructors.

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