Giving Compass’ Take:
• A new study from Fordham Institute revealed that charter schools employ more diverse educators compared to traditional public schools, making it more likely for students of color to encounter a teacher that is the same race as they are.
• This new study holds importance because of all the previous studies indicating that children of color perform better when learning from a teacher that looks like them. How can charter schools leverage their teacher diversity to help students of color thrive?
• Read more about why teacher representation in schools matters.
Over the past few years, education researchers have coalesced around a striking, if somewhat unpalatable, observation: Kids learn more from teachers of their own race.
A decade of studies from Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina has shown that K-12 students perform better academically if they’ve been assigned to a same-race teacher. Though the effects have been observed in white students, they are especially pronounced in their black classmates, who are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to complete a college entrance exam if they are exposed to even one black instructor in elementary school. Black educators also issue fewer suspensions to black students, and more referrals to gifted education classes, than white educators.
A study released today from the conservative Fordham Institute adds a notable new facet to the existing research, finding that black students are much more likely to encounter a same-race teacher in a charter school than a traditional public school. And the study’s author, American University professor Seth Gershenson, says that the greater likelihood of racial matching might help explain charters’ success with minority students.
Those data indicate that, while charter schools enroll a similar percentage of black students as traditional public schools, they employ more black teachers — about 14 percent of their teaching workforce, as opposed to roughly 10 percent of those in district schools. Partly as a result of the greater abundance of black faculty, black students are 50 percent more likely to be assigned to a black teacher in a charter than they are at a traditional public school.
As in previous studies, students in both charters and district schools received a measurable academic benefit from being assigned to a same-race teacher.
Read the full article about charter schools employing diverse teachers by Kevin Mahnken at The 74.
Race and Ethnicity is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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