Teacher race affects black students’ odds of being labeled ‘gifted’

Black students are half as likely as white students to be assigned to gifted programs, even when they have comparably high test scores. But the racial gap in “giftedness” largely evaporates when a black student is taught by a black teacher, according to new research published this week.

Black students taught by black teachers are assigned to gifted programs at almost the same rate as white students, and three times more often than black students with similar academic ability and family background who are taught by teachers of other races, according to the study by Vanderbilt researchers Jason A. Grissom and Christopher Redding. The race of a black child’s teacher made a particular difference in whether he or she was identified as gifted in reading.

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