On the origin of the achievement gap

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Science  01 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6294, pp. 40-41
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6294.40-e

Implicit bias is well documented in education, although specific examples and underlying causes are less understood. To learn more about teacher biases, Gershenson et al. used a student fixed-effects strategy to examine the formation of public school teachers' expectations of student educational attainment. Using representative U.S. survey data that contain two teachers' expectations for each student, the effect of student-teacher demographic mismatch was examined. Analysis showed that nonblack teachers have significantly lower educational expectations for black students than do black teachers. These results are the starting point for many additional, and necessary, research projects on this type of bias: How does it form, how can it be eliminated, and what are the long-term effects of its persistence?

Econ. Edu. Rev. 10.1016/j.econedurev.2016.03.002 (2016).

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