Teachers, race and student achievement in a randomized experiment


Thomas Dee

Year of Publication: 
The Review of Economics and Statistics

Recommendations for the aggressive recruitment of minority teachers are based on hypothesized role-model effects for minority students as well as evidence of racial biases among nonminority teachers. However, prior empirical studies have found little or no association between exposure to an own-race teacher and student achievement. This paper presents new evidence on this question by examining the test score data from Tennessee's Project STAR class-size experiment, which randomly matched students and teachers within participating schools. Specification checks confirm that the racial pairings of students and teachers in this experiment were unrelated to other student traits. Models of student achievement indicate that assignment to an own-race teacher significantly increased the math and reading achievement of both black and white students.

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APA Citation

Dee, T. (2004). Teachers, race and student achievement in a randomized experiment. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 86(1), 195-210.

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