Researchers say the connection that minority students have with minority teachers can help them academically as well as socially. WRAL will discuss the topic tonight at 5:30.
Researchers say that kind of connection is crucial, especially between students and teachers of color, and can help minority students perform better in reading and math, score higher on standardized tests and be more likely to attend college. Known as the “role-model effect,” researchers say students of color benefit both academically and emotionally from seeing teachers who look like them.
Yet in North Carolina, where minority students make up 52 percent of the traditional public school body, 80 percent of teachers are white. For students of color, especially black and Hispanic boys, that means they may seldom – or never – have a teacher who looks like them during their kindergarten through 12th grade years.
WRAL News analyzed data showing the race and gender of nearly 100,000 teachers and 1.4 million students in North Carolina’s 115 public school systems. Eleven school districts in the state had no Hispanic teachers last school year, and eight school systems had no black teachers. One district had no teachers of color at all.