Research

Teacher performance measures may penalize Black educators

A study by a UNC School of Education assistant professor found that classroom observation scores for Black teachers in Chicago Public Schools unfairly penalize them for being more likely to teach students who are academically disadvantaged.

A black teacher writing on a chalkboard
(Adobe stock image)

UNC School of Education Assistant Professor Lauren Sartain helped conduct a recent study that found classroom observation scores for Black teachers in Chicago Public Schools unfairly penalize them for being more likely to teach in schools in low-income neighborhoods with students who are academically disadvantaged.

The study found that the typical Black teacher in Chicago ranked at the 37th percentile in classroom observation scores, compared to the 55th percentile for the typical white teacher. Once the researchers controlled for differences in school and classroom factors, including student poverty, misconduct rates and incoming academic achievement, the gap statistically disappeared.

Read more about the study.