The University of Houston has brought attention to a study that found there is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of African-American students and the percentage of African-American teachers in a particular school. The study’s author, Walter Hunt, a recent graduate of the University’s Executive Education Doctorate in Professional Leadership program and an assistant principal in Houston, explained that he wanted to take a good look at the preconceived notion that the staff make-up of a school “should resemble the student body population,” since this often directs “recruitment and hiring efforts among principals.”
The study compared the math and reading scores of African-American and Caucasian 8th graders in 198 Texas Title 1 schools that either had a large or small number of African-American teachers.
“In this particular study, I was surprised to see that the campuses with more African-American teachers did not have the highest African-American student achievement. This just goes to show that having a positive impact on students is a complex, multi-layered process,” said Hunt in a recent press release.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.