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Soc Sci Res. 2013 Sep;42(5):1180-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.04.005. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Does it matter if teachers and schools match the student? Racial and ethnic disparities in problem behaviors.

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Sociology Department, University of Cincinnati, PO BOX 210378, Cincinnati OH 45221-0378, United States. Electronic address:


Black youth often lag behind their non-Hispanic white peers in educational outcomes, including teacher-evaluated school performance. Using data from four waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, the analyses presented here identify the extent to which children receive different evaluations from their teachers depending on the racial/ethnic match of teachers and students. This study is distinct from previous work because we examine the assessment of an individual child by multiple teachers. The results indicate that Black children receive worse assessments of their externalizing behaviors (e.g. arguing in class and disrupting instruction) when they have a non-Hispanic white teacher than when they have a Black teacher. Further, these results exist net of school context and the teacher's own ratings of the behavior of the class overall.


ECLS–K; Externalizing behavior; Race matching; Teacher perceptions

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