Many people in education have commented on the need for teachers of color. Anecdotally, it appeared to many that students of color benefit from having teachers who look like them every once in a while.
The evidence for that sentiment is no longer just anecdotal.
Research out of Johns Hopkins University has found that black students are much more likely to attend college if they have at least one black teacher:
Leveraging random student-teacher pairings in the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment, we find that black students randomly assigned to a black teacher in grades K-3 are 5 percentage points (7%) more likely to graduate from high school and 4 percentage points (13%) more likely to enroll in college than their peers in the same school who are not assigned a black teacher. We document similar patterns using quasi-experimental methods and statewide administrative data from North Carolina.
This research comes on the heels of similar research released last year that indicated black students are more likely to graduate if they had at least one black teacher.
The research is not saying that white teachers are less effective in regard to teaching or pedagogy but simply that the very experience of being taught by a same-race teacher has an effect on the educational outlook of a student.
Read the full study here.