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White math teachers in predominantly black middle schools are more likely to respond negatively to students' behavioral or academic issues—and this may have long-term negative consequences for student performance, according to a Rutgers-led study that highlights the need to recruit more black teachers.
The study, published this month in Harvard Educational Review, observed video data collected from 2009-2011 of 25 mathematics classrooms in middle schools that were either predominantly white or black.
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White teachers in predominantly black schools were more likely than white teachers in predominantly white schools, or black teachers in predominantly black schools, to respond in negative ways to student behavior, emotions and ability. For example, their response to behavioral issues was more likely to include multiple, intense back-and-forth exchanges more apt to escalate problems than solve them.
"The implications for black student learning are clear: Black students will likely continue to experience impoverished teacher-student relationships with the overrepresentation of white teachers. This, in turn, will harm their academic achievement," said Dan Battey, lead author of the study and an associate...
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