Study Finds Teachers Offer Lower Quality Instruction to Predominantly Black Classes

A new study by researchers at New York University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds find that classes taught by the same teacher receive a lower quality of teaching when they comprise higher percentages of Black and Latinx students.

The study focused on English language arts and mathematics teachers in grades four through nine. The authors measured teaching quality using two in-classroom observational ratings and students’ increases in standardized scores. They found that roughly half of the differences in classroom teaching quality were driven by differences among teachers like their credentials, while the other half could be attributed to factors like biases within teachers.

“Previous research has revealed different forms of racial inequality within the U.S. schooling system, including that youth of color tend to be taught by less experienced and credentialed teachers, but virtually no work has examined inequalities in the primary responsibility of teachers: how teachers actually teach,” says Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, associate professor of international education at New York University and lead author of the study. “Our results uncovered a bias that aligns with work on racial biases, and particularly anti-Blackness, that is pervasive in U.S. education and society, and underscores the importance of better teacher training.”

“We also found that teachers across racial/ethnic groups show the same patterns in teaching that disadvantage Black youth, which suggests that all teachers, not just White teachers, can benefit from better training and development,” the authors write.

The full study, “Teaching Bias? Relations Between Teaching Quality and Classroom Demographic Composition,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Education. It may be accessed here.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The low grade instruction occurring at University level is of poor quality too.

    Specifically in the math, science and English, many teachers do not comprehend nor speak English proficiently. If a student is a proficient speaker, they are penalized, lied in, failed. Teachers rolling off the boat are getting their PHDs. Many come from one or two geographic area.

    Monies are stolen, students are not getting their education. Sometimes or many times they kick the students out of school, give them a bad credit rating. This is what’s going on at one patlrticular CUNY school in NYC. Now the vaccine mandate is forcing out students who thought they would gain a higher education under the equal education acts here in America.

    It should be investigated and exposed.

  2. This redundant study is nothing new within an American context and public education. The facts remain is that “White America” historically and currently has never wanted for “Africans who were forced into slavery to receive any form of formal education because it would be harder to maintain complete domination over them. In spite of the continued systemic and institutional racism the so-called Black American community have endured they still managed to obtain education .

    I would venture in saying that there’s no algorithm or any other metrics could have predicted this. As such, it’s quite apparent that Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng is totally oblivious about the nuances of White American racism and the monumental ways native born Black Americans are still excelling educationally as a group. Yet, this body of research is totally devoid of this integral aspect.

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