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ERIC Number: ED530049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-2045-6557
Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective Evaluations. CEE DP 98
Ouazad, Amine
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
In this paper, the author looks at whether teachers give better subjective assessments to students of their own race and/or gender, conditionally on test scores. Subjective assessments are pervasive in schools; most teachers fill school records that include comments on the child's ability or behavior. And important decisions such as tracking, special education and ability grouping are partly based on subjective assessments. Moreover, teachers' priors, beliefs and behavior may be based on what other teachers reported. The author estimates the effect of being assessed by a teacher of the same race on assessments conditionally on test scores. The author uses a unique US longitudinal dataset that combines test scores and teacher assessments of children's skills in elementary education. The author can therefore compare the difference between test scores and teacher assessments when the same child experiences same race teachers and when he has a teacher of a different race. The author can also look at this difference for the same teacher when assessing same race children and children of different races. Combining these two identification strategies, the author estimates the effect of same race and same gender teaching on assessments, conditionally on test scores, child and teacher fixed effects. This addresses three potential identification issues: firstly, children of different genders and races may behave differently in the classroom and during examinations, e.g. differential effect of testing on boys and girls, stereotype threat effects (Steele & Aronson 1998); secondly, teacher assessments may capture skills that are not captured by test scores; finally, some teachers may give higher average assessments regardless of their students' race or gender, and this can be correlated with child characteristics. The rest of the paper is structured as follows. Section 2 presents the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. It provides a first hand descriptive analysis of the difference between teacher assessments and test scores, as well as some statistics on racial and gender diversity in US elementary education. Section 3 explains main identification issues, the identification strategy and baseline results. Section 4 checks the robustness of the results. Section 5 shows that assessment rankings are not affected by teacher-pupil racial interactions in the classroom, but that relative ranking does not explain the main results. Finally, section 6 concludes. (Contains 13 tables and 10 footnotes.)
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey