Once a material in the production of caulking, sealants, fluorescent lights, and paper, the chemicals could be in 30 percent to 50 percent of schools built between 1950 and the late 1970s, the research finds. As the building materials and lights age, PCBs spread into the air and dust, paint and other building fixtures, and outside soil—and students breathe them in. The Harvard study estimates that 13,000 to 26,000 schools could contain PCBs.
The study, published last week in the journal Educational Researcher by two New York University professors, found that students of all races, but particularly students of color, have more favorable perceptions of minority teachers versus white teachers.
The researchers looked at over 50,000 adolescent student reports on 1,680 classroom teachers in six districts and found that students rated Latino and black teachers more positively than white teachers, even after controlling for student demographic and academic characteristics, teacher efficacy, and other teacher characteristics.
Lead author Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng said the overall findings suggest that minority teachers can translate their experiences and identities to form rapports with students of different backgrounds.
Only 18 percent of teachers are teachers of color.
A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2016 edition of Education Week as Teachers of Color