Statistics Show Drop Out Rates Are Lower When Black Students Have A Black Teacher

The risk of dropping out of school decreases 40 percent for low income black students who have a black teacher for at least one year.

Photo Credit: Photo: Concrete Rose Publications

| November 01 2017,

1:42 pm

We all remember that one teacher that made an impact on our young impressionable lives back in the day. They were either the teacher that let you watch movies on a rainy day, they brought in snacks and extra pencils on test days or they dropped words of wisdom that you didn't realize how powerful they were until years later. They were the closest thing we had to family outside of the house.

A study held at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that students taught by teachers of the same race had a long-term impact on their lives. More specifically, low-income black students that had at least one black teacher in elementary school significantly increased the chances of them graduating high school and even considering furthering their education to college.

According to U.S. News, researchers studied approximately 100,000 black students who enrolled in third grade in North Carolina's public schools between 2001 and 2005 and found that the risk of dropping out for black students decreased by 29 percent if that had at least one black teacher in third through fifth grades. 

"We think it's an eye-popping result," Nicholas Papageorge, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and one of the co-authors of the research paper, stated. "We're hoping to keep looking at later and later outcomes...we're trying to get access to things like income and employment down the line, college completion. We want to know just how far down this can matter."

According to Department of Education statistics, teachers of color represent 18 percent of educators, black males only representing a small 2 percent. These numbers are extremely low compared to nearly half of public elementary and secondary school students are children of color. It's time for a change.