Advertisement

Race and Social Problems

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 93–111 | Cite as

Of Promise and Penalties: How Student Racial-Cultural Markers Shape Teacher Perceptions

  • Yasmiyn IrizarryEmail author
  • Emma D. Cohen
Article
  • 312 Downloads

Abstract

Scholars document considerable disparities in teacher perceptions of students, yet absent from this literature is an examination of how race, ethnicity, and immigration status intersect to influence teacher ratings. This study extends previous research by examining variation in teachers’ ratings of academic ability across four conventional racial/ethnic groups as well as thirteen racialized subgroups. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999, we find that black first-graders receive lower ratings in language and literacy, a pattern that holds for both black Americans and black immigrants. In contrast, Asian first-graders receive higher ratings in math; however, this is primarily driven by teachers’ much higher ratings of East Asian and Southeast Asian immigrants. These subgroup differences remain even after controlling for a host of background and contextual factors, as well as students’ tested ability and academic growth in math and reading. Teacher perceptions of student academic behavior explain lower language and literacy ratings for black Americans and higher math ratings for Southeast Asian immigrants that are present net background and performance, but higher math ratings for East Asian immigrants remain. We conclude by discussing implications of our approach and findings.

Keywords

Race Racialization Racial disparities Teacher perceptions Stereotypes 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Brian Powell, Matthew Hughey, Becky Schewe, Ryan Cobb, and anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback on previous drafts of this manuscript.

Funding

This research was supported by a Ford Foundation Fellowship through The National Academies and by a grant from the American Educational Research Association which receives funds for its Grants Program from the National Science Foundation under NSF Grant #DRL-0941014. This research was also supported in part by Grant, 5 R24 HD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Opinions reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agencies.

References

  1. Ainsworth-Darnell, J. W., & Downey, D. B. (1998). Assessing the oppositional culture explanation for racial/ethnic differences in school performance. American Sociological Review, 63(4), 536–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Thompson, M. S. (1987). School performance, status relations, and the structure of sentiment: Bringing the teacher back in. American Sociological Review, 52(5), 665–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, B. D., Keller-Wolff, C., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2000). Two steps forward, one step back: Race/ethnicity and student achievement in education policy reearch. Educational Policy, 14(4), 511–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bates, L. A., & Glick, J. E. (2013). Does it matter if teachers and schools match the students? Racial and ethnic disparities in problem behaviors. Social Science Research, 42(5), 1180–1190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blanchard, S., & Muller, C. (2015). Gatekeepers of the American dream: How teachers’ perceptions shape the academic outcomes of immigrant and language-minority students. Social Science Research, 51, 262–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2004). From bi-racial to tri-racial: Towards a new system of racial stratification in the USA. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27(6), 931–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brand, D. (1987). The new whiz kids: Why Asian Americans are doing so well and what it costs them. Time, 130, 42–47.Google Scholar
  8. Carter, P. L. (2003). “Black” cultural capital, status positioning, and schooling conflicts for low-income African American youth. Social Problems, 50(1), 136–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chaikin, A. L., Sigler, E., & Derlega, V. J. (1974). Nonverbal mediators of teacher expectancy effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(1), 144–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Condron, D. J. (2007). Stratification and educational sorting: Explaining ascriptive inequalities in early childhood reading group placement. Social Problems, 54(1), 139–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Copenhaver, R. W., & McIntyre, D. J. (1992). Teachers’ perception of gifted students. Roeper Review, 14(3), 151–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox, J., Daniel, N., & Boston, B. (1985). Educating able learners: Programs and promising practices. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dabach, D. B. (2011). Teachers as agents of reception: An analysis of teacher preference for immigrant-origin second language learners. The New Educator, 7, 66–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Downey, D. B., & Pribesh, S. (2004). When race matters: Teachers’ evaluations of students’ classroom behavior. Sociology of Education, 77(4), 267–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Entwisle, D. R., & Hayduk, L. A. (1988). Lasting effects of elementary school. Sociology of Education, 61(3), 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Farkas, G. (2003). Racial disparities and discrimination in education: What do we know, how do we know it, and what do we need to know? Teachers College Record, 105(6), 1119–1146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferguson, A. A. (2001). Bad boys: Public schools in the making of black masculinity. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  18. Ferguson, R. F. (2003). Teachers’ perceptions and expectations and the black-white test score gap. Urban Education, 38(4), 460–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frank, R., Akresh, I. R., & Lu, B. (2010). Latino immigrants and the U.S. racial order. American Sociological Review, 75(3), 378–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goyette, K., & Xie, Y. (1999). Educational expectations of Asian American youths: Determinants and ethnic differences. Sociology of Education, 72(1), 22–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haller, E. J. (1985). Pupil race and elementary school ability grouping: Are teachers biased against black children? American Educational Research Journal, 22(4), 465–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hallinan, M. T. (2008). Teacher influences on students’ attachment to school. Sociology of Education, 81(3), 271–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher-child relationships and the trajectory of children’s school outcomes through eighth grade. Child Development, 72(2), 625–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2005). Can instructional and emotional support in the first-grade classroom make a difference for children at risk of school failure? Child Development, 76(5), 949–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harris, A. L. (2011). Kids don’t want to fail: Oppositional culture and the black-white achievement gap. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harris, C. A., & Khanna, N. (2010). Black is, black ain’t: Biracials, middle-class blacks, and the social construction of blackness. Sociological Spectrum, 30(6), 639–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Herring, C., Keith, V., & Horton, H. D. (Eds.). (2004). Skin deep: How race and complexion matter in the “color-blind” era. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hitlin, S., Brown, J. S., & Elder, G. H. (2007). Measuring Latinos: Racial vs. ethnic classification and self-understandings. Social Forces, 86(2), 587–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hoeffel, E. M., Rastogi, S., Kim, M. O., & Shahid, H. (2012). The Asian population: 2010. 2010 Census Briefs, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  30. Irizarry, Y. (2015). Utilizing multidimensional measures of race in education research: The case of teacher perceptions. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 1(4), 564–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Irvine, J. J. (1988). An analysis of the problem of disappearing black educators. The Elementary School Journal, 88(5), 503–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jo, J.-Y. O. (2004). Neglected voices in the multicultural America: Asian American racial politics and its implications for multicultural education. Multicultural Perspectives, 6(1), 19–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jussim, L., & Harber, K. D. (2005). Teacher expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies: Knowns and unknowns, resolved and unresolved controversies. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9(2), 131–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kent, M. M. (2007). Immigration and America’s black population. Population Bulletin, 62(4), 1–16.Google Scholar
  35. Khanna, N. (2010). If you’re half black, you’re just black”: Reflected appraisals and the persistence of the one-drop rule. Sociological Quarterly, 51(1), 96–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Leacock, E. (1982). The influences of teacher attitudes on children’s classroom performance: Case studies. In K. M. Borman (Ed.), The social life of children in a changing society (pp. 47–64). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  37. Lee, C. D. (2003). Why we need to re-think race and ethnicity in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(5), 3–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lee, J. (2002). Racial and ethnic achievement gap trends: Reversing the progress toward equity? Educational Researcher, 31(1), 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lee, J. M. (2012). Asian-American exceptionalism and “stereotype promise.” The Society Pages. Retrieved May 4, 2012, from https://thesocietypages.org/papers/asian-american-exceptionalism-and-stereotype-promise/.
  40. Lee, J. M., & Bean, F. D. (2007). Reinventing the color line: Immigration and America’s new racial/ethnic divide. Social Forces, 86(2), 561–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lee, J. M., & Zhou, M. (2015). The Asian American achievement paradox. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  42. Lee, S. J. (1994). Behind the model-minority stereotype: Voices of high- and low-achieving Asian American students. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 25(4), 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lei, J. L. (2003). (Un)necessary toughness?: Those “loud black girls” and those “quiet Asian boys. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 34(2), 158–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lewis, A. E. (2006). Whiteness in schools: How race shapes blacks’ opportunities. In E. M. Horvat & C. O’Connor (Eds.), Beyond acting white: Reframing the debate on black student achievement (pp. 176–200). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  45. Lopez, N. (2003). Hopeful girls, troubled boys: Race and gender disparity in urban education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Luo, M. (2016, October 11). “Go back to China”: Readers respond to racist insults shouted at a New York Times Editor. New York Times, A20. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/nyregion/go-back-to-china-readers-respond-to-racist-insults-shouted-at-a-new-york-times-editor.html.
  47. Maddux, W. W., Galinsky, A. D., Cuddy, A. J. C., & Polifroni, M. (2008). When being a model minority is good… and bad: Realistic threat explains negativity toward Asian Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(1), 74–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Massey, D. S. (2014). The racialization of Latinos in the United States. In S. Bucerius & M. Tonry (Eds.), Oxford handbook of ethnicity, crime, and immigration (pp. 21–40). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Masten, W. G., Plata, M., Wenglar, K., & Thedford, J. (1999). Acculturation and teacher ratings of Hispanic and Anglo-American students. Roeper Review, 22(1), 64–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Matute-Bianchi, M. E. (1986). Ethnic identities and patterns of school success and failure among Mexican-descent and Japanese-American students in a California high school: An ethnographic analysis. American Journal of Education, 95(1), 233–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McGrady, P. B., & Reynolds, J. R. (2013). Racial mismatch in the classroom: Beyond black-white differences. Sociology of Education, 86(1), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McKown, C., & Weinstein, R. S. (2008). Teacher expectations, classroom context, and the achievement gap. Journal of School Psychology, 46(3), 235–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mickelson, R. A. (2001). Subverting Swann: First- and second-generations segregation in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. American Educational Research Journal, 38(2), 215–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Montalvo, G. P., Mansfield, E. A., & Miller, R. B. (2007). Liking or disliking the teacher: Student motivation, engagement and achievement. Evaluation & Research in Education, 20(3), 144–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Morris, E. W. (2005). “Tuck in that shirt!” race, class, gender, and discipline in an urban school. Sociological Perspectives, 48(1), 25–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Muller, C. (2001). The role of caring in the teacher-student relationship for at-risk students. Sociological Inquiry, 71(2), 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ngo, B., & Lee, S. J. (2007). Complicating the image of model minority success: A review of southeast Asian American education. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 415–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Oates, G. L. S. C. (2003). Teacher-student racial congruence, teacher perceptions, and test performance. Social Science Quarterly, 84(3), 508–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. O’Connor, C., Lewis, A., & Mueller, J. (2007). Researching “black” educational experiences and outcomes: Theoretical and methodological considerations. Educational Researcher, 36(9), 541–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ogbu, J. U. (2004). Collective identity and the burden of “acting white” in black history, community, and education. Urban Review, 36(1), 1–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pianta, R. C. (1997). Adult-child relationship processes and early schooling. Early Education & Development, 8(1), 11–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pianta, R. C. (2003). Standardized classroom observations from pre-k to third grade: A mechanism for improving quality classroom experiences during the P-3 years. New York: Foundation for Child Development. Retrieved from http://www.fcd-us.org/usr_doc/StandardizedClassroomObservations.pdf.
  63. Pigott, R. L., & Cowen, E. L. (2000). Teacher race, child race, racial congruence, and teacher ratings of children’s school adjustment. Journal of School Psychology, 38(2), 177–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pollock, M. (2004). Race wrestling: Struggling strategically with race in educational practice and research. American Journal of Education, 111(1), 25–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Qian, Z. (2004). Options: Racial/ethnic identification of children of intermarried couples. Social Science Quarterly, 85(3), 746–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Ready, D. D., & Wright, D. L. (2011). Accuracy and inaccuracy in teachers’ perceptions of young children’s cognitive abilities: The role of child background and classroom context. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 335–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Reardon, S. F., & Galindo, C. (2009). The Hispanic-White achievement gap in math and reading in the elementary grades. American Educational Research Journal, 46(3), 853–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Ridley, S. M., McWilliam, R. A., & Oates, C. S. (2000). Observed engagement as an indicator of child care program quality. Early Education and Development, 11(2), 133–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rist, R. C. (1970). Student social class and teacher expectation: The self-fulfilling prophecy in ghetto education. Harvard Educational Review, 40(3), 411–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rong, X. L., & Preissle, J. (2009). Educating immigrant students in the 21st century: What educators need to know. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  71. Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the classroom. Urban Review, 3(1), 16–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Rowan, B., Correnti, R., & Miller, R. J. (2002). What large-scale survey research tells us about teacher effects on student achievement: Insights from the Prospects Study of Elementary Schools. Teachers College Record, 104(8), 1525–1567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Royston, P. (2005). Multiple imputation of missing values: Update. The Stata Journal, 5(2), 1–14.Google Scholar
  74. Salinas, C. J., & Lozano, A. (2017). Mapping and recontextualizing the evolution of the term Latinx: An environmental scanning in higher education. Journal of Latinos and Education.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15348431.2017.1390464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Saporito, S., & Sohoni, D. (2006). Coloring outside the lines: Racial segregation in public schools and their attendance boundaries. Sociology of Education, 79(1), 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Shaw-Taylor, Y., & Tuch, S. A. (Eds.). (2007). The other African Americans: Contemporary African and Caribbean immigrants in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  77. Snipp, C. M. (2010). Defining race and ethnicity: The constitution, the court, and the census. In H. R. Markus & P. M. L. Moya (Eds.), Doing race: 21 Essays for the 21st century (pp. 105–122). New York: W.W. Norton and Company.Google Scholar
  78. Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 797–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Stewart, Q. T., & Dixon, J. C. (2010). Is it race, immigrant status, or both? An analysis of wage disparities among men in the United States. International Migration Review, 44(1), 173–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Swoboda, C. A. (2012). A new method for multilevel multiple imputation. Madison: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  81. Tenenbaum, H. R., & Ruck, M. D. (2007). Are teachers’ expectations different for racial minority than for European American students? A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(2), 253–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tyson, K. (2003). Notes from the back of the room: Problems and paradoxes in the schooling of young black students. Sociology of Education, 76(4), 326–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Tyson, K. (2011). Integration interrupted: Tracking, black students, and acting white after Brown. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  85. Waters, M. C. (1990). Ethnic options: Choosing identities in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  86. Waters, M. C. (1991). The role of lineage in identity formation among black Americans. Qualitative Sociology, 14(1), 57–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Waters, M. C. (2001). Black identities: West Indian immigrant dreams and American realities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Wentzel, K. R. (1999). Social-motivational processes and interpersonal relationships: Implications for understanding motivation at school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(1), 76–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wing, J. Y. (2007). Beyond black and white: The model minority myth and the invisibility of Asian American students. Urban Review, 39(4), 455–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wong, M. G. (1980). Model students? Teachers’ perceptions and expectations of their Asian and white students. Sociology of Education, 53(4), 236–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wright, R. L. (1998). Sociolinguistics and ideological dynamics of the ebonics controversy. Journal of Negro Education, 67(1), 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Yancey, G. (2003). Who is white? Latinos, Asians, and the new black/nonblack divide. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of African and African Diaspora StudiesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations