That’s what Constance Lindsay and Cassandra Hart found when they analyzed data from North Carolina elementary schools.
In this episode of the EdNext podcast, Marty West interviews Lindsay about the study, “Teacher Race and School Discipline,” which appears in the Winter 2017 issue of Education Next.
Constance Lindsay is currently a Professorial Lecturer in the School of Public Affairs at American University. As she and Hart write in the study
We analyze a unique set of student and teacher demographic and discipline data from North Carolina elementary schools to examine whether being matched to a same-race teacher affects the rate at which students receive detentions, are suspended, or are expelled. The data follow individual students over several years, enabling us to compare the disciplinary outcomes of students in years when they had a same-race teacher and in years when they did not.
We find consistent evidence that North Carolina students are less likely to be removed from school as punishment when they and their teachers are the same race. This effect is driven almost entirely by black students, especially black boys, who are markedly less likely to be subjected to exclusionary discipline whentaught by black teachers. There is little evidence of any benefit for white students of being matched with white teachers.
– Education Next