Student-Teacher Ethnoracial Match and Student Outcomes in Large Urban School Districts: Evidence from New York City

Do Black and Latinx students in large urban school districts experience improved academic, disciplinary, and persistence outcomes when assigned to teachers of the same ethnoracial background?

Assignment to same-race teachers may serve as a mechanism to improve outcomes for Black and Latinx students. Evidence suggests that Black and Latinx teachers are better able to attend to the social and emotional needs of and have higher expectations for students of the same background. Studies have also revealed associations between social and emotional outcomes and performance on standardized tests for some students assigned to teachers of the same background, particularly for Black students. Most of these studies, however, have focused on the state level or used nationally representative data, understudied Latinx students, and lacked a longitudinal perspective. Shirrell’s analysis will draw from ten years of de-identified administrative personnel data and student outcome files from the New York City Department of Education from 2007 through 2017. The sample will include all students from non-charter schools in grades 3 through 12, of which 30% are coded as Black and 40% are coded Hispanic; of the teachers in the database, 20% are Black and 15% are Hispanic. He will use student fixed effects to measure the impacts of same-race teachers on student math and reading standardized test scores, attendance, and disciplinary information, comparing outcomes for years with same-race teachers versus years with teachers from another background, controlling for school characteristics. He will also explore the differential probabilities of long-term outcomes, such as high-school graduation, for students of color exposed to teachers of color at various points in their schooling.