ESSENCE Poll: Does Being Able to Identify With the Race of Your Teacher Matter?
Christopher Futcher

A San Francisco school district is taking a different approach to narrowing the racial achievement gap by issuing a call for more Black schoolteachers.

The San Francisco Unified School District’s human capital specialist, Swen Ervin, told The Huffington Post that students of color respond better to teachers who look like them. According to district findings from the 2013-2014 school year, Black students, who make up 8 percent of the district, have among the lowest scores on standardized tests and the highest dropout rates. 

“The research shows that students of color do better on standardized tests and have a stronger sense of self-efficacy when they have adults in their schools who look like them,” SFUSD alumnus Ervin said to the Post. “And I think teachers, more than anyone, provide an image of success for students.”

School administrators also hope that hiring more teachers of color can also help dispel some of the stereotypes and prejudices that White students may have against Black people.

We want to know whether you think identifying with the race of your teacher matters. Take our poll and let us know your thoughts.

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