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Too many Latino students battle low expectations from their teachers

LatinaLista — A new education study released by the Center for American Progress only reinforces what parents, researchers and students have long known — a teacher’s low expectation of her/his students goes a long way in impacting the self-esteem and future success of those students.

The Power of the Pygmalion Effect followed a national representative sample of tenth grade students from 2002-2012. What the researchers found was that teachers have lower expectations of two kinds of students: students of color and those who are from high-poverty areas.

But in those cases where teachers did expect more from their students, the students rose to their expectations and not only thrived and succeeded — but went on to graduate from college. Something that students of teachers with low expectations did not accomplish at anywhere near the same rate.

The report’s researchers feel that teachers need to be educated to have high expectations of all of their students. Yet in a public school system where the majority of the students are children of color and only 18 percent of the teacher workforce is racially diverse, asking teachers to shelve their stereotypical beliefs of what people of color can and cannot accomplish may be asking more than what these teachers, who can’t look past skin color or economic standing, can reasonably accomplish.

It’s going to take more than lectures and studies to educate these teachers to change their views. It’s going to require a complete change in mindset — and that may be more work than some teachers are willing to do.

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