Representation in education matters. According to a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, data shows that Black students who have at least one teacher of their race both reduces Black students’ high school dropout rates and increases the chances of them wanted to and enrolling in college.
The study, titled “The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers” is an updated version of one published in 2017 which found that Black students who had one Black teacher could help them stay in school, according to NPR.
“Over the past few years we have a lot of studies that have looked at the short-term outcome,” said Dr. Constance Lindsay, a researcher at the Urban Institute and one of the report’s authors. “This is the first study of its kind to show that there are long-run effects.”
Black students who had one teacher of the same race in elementary school are 13 percent more likely to enroll in college than those who didn’t, according to the study. In addition, students who have had two Black teachers are 32 percent more likely to enroll in college.
Researchers of the study noted that one of the reasons for these effects is that the teachers of color act as role models for students of the same race. Seeing the Black teachers in that role shows students what educational attainment could look like and give them something to aim for.