There’s a new study out that says black students who have just one black teacher in elementary school are less likely to drop out and are significantly more likely to graduate high school.
Below are the study’s major takeaways:
- Low-income black students who have one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade are 19 percent more likely to graduate and want to attend a four-year college.
- For males from persistently low-income families, the result is even larger: Having a black teacher makes it 29 percent more likely they pursue a four-year college degree after graduation.
- The report also suggests that exposure to just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade makes it 39 percent less likely that a male student from a low-income family will drop out of high school. The presence of a black teacher does not have the same effect on female students, according to the report.
The study looked at 100,000 North Carolina students from elementary school to high school. They examined students’ teacher demographics and compare it to student achievement later on. After finding that the mere presence of a black teacher had significant impacts on a student’s life, the researchers wanted to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. They performed a similar study on student data from Tennessee. And got the same results.
Although the study highlights one black teacher’s meaningful effect on students’ outcomes, the researchers find that the effects are not notably multiplied with additional black teachers. Instead, one seems to be all it takes.