Study Finds That Teachers Leave Schools with an ‘Inflow of Black Students’

A soon to be published study is confirming what many people have been saying for years: that schools seem to lose good teachers as their black population increases.

This excerpt from an article at the Lab Spaces web site, Teachers choose schools according to student race, talks about the problem:

A study forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics suggests that high-quality teachers tend to leave schools that experience inflows of black students. According to the study’s author, C. Kirabo Jackson (Cornell University), this is the first study to show that a school’s racial makeup may have a direct impact on the quality of its teachers.

Dr. Jackson’s findings suggest that it’s not neighborhoods keeping high-quality teachers away; it’s the students—and it’s directly related to their race.

“This is particularly sobering because it implies that, all else equal, black students will systematically receive lower quality instruction,” Jackson said. “This relationship may be a substantial contributor to the black-white achievement gap in American schools.”

“This study implies teachers may prefer a student body that is more white and less black,” Jackson says.

One other disturbing finding of the study, which was done in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district in North Carolina after race-based busing ended there in 2002, was this:

Black teachers were slightly more likely than white teachers to stay in the schools that experienced a black inflow, the study found. However, those black teachers who did leave black schools tended to be the highest qualified black teachers. So the decline in quality was somewhat more pronounced among black teachers than white teachers.

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