Same work, lower grade? Student ethnicity and teachers' subjective assessments

Start date: 01 januari 2009

Reyn van Ewijk

Indirect/long term policy relevant


Research question: I examine whether teachers grade ethnic minority and majority students differently for the same work. Method: experiment in 113 Dutch teachers each graded 10 short essays written by 11-year old students. Unknown to the teachers, the names written on the essays were manipulated to be alternately typical Dutch, or typical Turkish or Moroccan. Results: I find no evidence for such a grading bias. However, teachers report lower expectations and unfavorable attitudes that both likely affect their behavior towards minority students, potentially inducing them to perform below their ability level. Effects of having majority teachers on minority students' grades therefore seem more likely to be indirect than direct. Status: finished paper, submitted

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