Panel: Short- and Long-Run Effects of Teacher-Student Race and Gender Congruence

Friday, November 3, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Gold Coast (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Sarah Kabourek, Vanderbilt University
Panel Chairs:  Seth Gershenson, American University
Discussants:  Emily K. Penner, University of California, Irvine and Anna Markowitz, University of Virginia

The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers
Seth Gershenson1, Cassandra Hart2, Constance A. Lindsay1 and Nicholas W. Papageorge3, (1)American University, (2)University of California, Davis, (3)Johns Hopkins University

Student-Teacher Race Congruence and High School Math Trajectories
Jason Grissom, Sarah Kabourek and Jenna W. Kramer, Vanderbilt University

Causal Effects of Teacher Match on Student Achievement
Brian Kisida, University of Missouri, Anna J. Egalite, North Carolina State University and Daniel H. Bowen, University of Arkansas

An Adviser like Me: Does Gender Matter?
Takao Kato and Yang Song, Colgate University

Education research has long been interested in the impact of teacher-student relationships in relation to student outcomes, including both achievement and non-achievement outcomes. An emerging area of this research includes a focus on teacher-student race congruence. This research leverages years of psychological theory regarding stereotype threat, self-fulfilling prophecies, and culturally responsive teaching, as well as a rich literature on representative bureaucracy. This literature has important policy implications regarding the recruitment and training of teachers as well as the distribution of teachers to districts and schools and students within schools.

Years of research show that representation matters. The question for this panel is, to what extent does representation matter, for whom, and for which outcomes? The papers use later outcomes, as well as K-12 and higher education outcomes, to provide a comprehensive picture of the long-term effects of exposure to same-race teachers. Outcomes include high school course taking/progression, high school graduation, student achievement, and college graduation. This panel includes four papers using distinct datasets to answer these questions. The papers use a variety of methods (including fixed effects, instrumental variables, and the use of RCT data) and panel datasets.

The first paper in the panel uses statewide data to observe the effect on high school dropout rate of elementary school student exposure to a same-race teacher. This is one of the first studies of long-term outcomes related to teacher-student race congruence. The authors find positive, significant effects for black male students that have a same-race teacher in third, fourth, or fifth grade. The authors replicate their findings using data from a statewide randomized control trial.

The second paper uses data from a large urban district in the southeastern United States to explore the association between student exposure to a same-race teacher in their high school math class and the probability of taking advanced math courses in the following year. Math coursework is an indicator of later achievement and student progression to tertiary education. Students exposed to same-race teachers may receive higher levels of academic support and encouragement to continue studying math. The authors find that there is an effect of exposure—students with a same-race math teacher progress to more and higher-level math courses more often than their peers who are not race-matched.

The third paper in this panel uses instrumental variables to find a causal effect of teacher-student racial congruence on student outcomes in grades 4-8. The authors use a dataset compiled from six school districts across the United States with student-level data and a wide array of administrative data. Early results indicate significant heterogeneous effects of race congruence.

The final paper in this panel explores student-adviser relationships in higher education. Specifically the authors study the extent to which a same-gender advisor in a student’s first year influences other long-term student outcomes. Using over 15 years of data from a liberal arts university, the authors find that same-gender advisor-advisee pairings in the first year of school positively affect later student outcomes, including GPA and graduation timing.

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