White teachers are generally less optimistic about their black students’ chances of obtaining a four-year degree than black teachers—and those lowered expectations could become “self-fulfilling prophecies” when students internalize them or when teachers change their approach to students as a result, finds a new study in Education Next.
The study is based on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, a nationally representative set of 6,000 students who started 10th grade that year, and their teachers.
Surveyed teachers expected 58 percent of white high school students to finish at least a four-year college degree. They expected 37 percent of black high school students to do the same.
When evaluating the same black student, white teachers were 9 percentage points less likely than black teachers to expect that that student would earn a college degree.
A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 2017 edition of Education Week as Achievement Gaps