Public School Students With Teachers Educated at HBCUs Do Better at Mathematics

A new study by Lavar Edmonds, a graduate student in the economics of education at Stanford University, finds that Black students in North Carolina public schools do better in mathematics when their teachers were educated at a historically Black college or university.

Edmonds found that both Black and White HBCU-trained teachers are more effective with Black students than their same-race, non-HBCU peers. He also finds that students with HBCU-trained teachers – particularly Black boys –  benefit from lower suspension rates.

“For the policy-minded, this evidence highlights the potential benefits of hiring and retaining more teachers trained at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Edmonds writes. “HBCUs are uniquely producing teachers capable of elevating Black academic success.

“In the face of concerns regarding teacher recruitment and retention and their effect on students, these results speak to a simple, effective, and targeted approach for raising student achievement largely omitted from prior teacher labor market discussions,” Edmonds added. Edmonds calls for increasing support for teacher education programs at HBCUs as an effective method for boosting the educational success of young Black students in public schools.

Edmonds is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he majored in economics. He holds a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

The full study, “Role Models Revisited: HBCUs, Same-Race Teacher Effects, and Black Student Achievement,” may be accessed here.

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