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Journal Article: An Investigation of the Impact of Racially Diverse Teachers on the Reading Skills of Fourth-Grade Students in a One Race School

Categories

Education, Black teachers, Reading/Achievements, Student, Reading/Teaching/Elementary schools, Attitudes/Black students, Teachers and students/Elementary schools

Authors

Burt, Jo Linn; Ortlieb, Evan T.; Cheek, Earl H., Jr.

Published

2009, Spring

Abstract

Despite efforts from the No Child Left Behind Act (2000) aimed at better educating minority children, the African American-Caucasian test score gap persists. The population of public school students is increasingly diverse; yet, 90[percent] of public school teachers are Caucasian females (Graybill, 1997). Within this ethnographic dichotomy, what effect does the racial makeup of faculty have on minority student success? This inquiry's central focus is to determine whether teacher ethnicity has an effect on the development of students' reading skills and their attitudes towards reading. A survey was constructed to measure fourth-grade students' attitudes and perceptions of their teachers concerning fairness, concern/care for students, understanding, treatment, classroom management, individual attention, and motivation. The survey was also designed to measure students' self-perceptions and attitudes toward reading. Findings indicate that these African-American fourth graders have mostly positive feelings toward their teachers and toward reading, regardless of the race of their teacher and their performance on the fourth-grade state performance test. Results also reveal that some differences in the responses of the students of Caucasian teachers compared to the responses of students of African-American teachers. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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