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Document Number: 5975

Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap - This paper examines the role of teacher expectations in affecting the black-white test score gap, investigating whether teachers treat children differently on the basis of factors other than observed ability specifically student names - and whether this differential treatment translates into differences in student outcomes. The author finds that students with names having attributes of lower socioeconomic status score lower on standardized tests, even when compared to siblings whose names have fewer indicators. This outcome negatively affects black children more frequently, as they tend to have names with more attributes associated with lower socioeconomic status. The author makes a comparison to Asian children, finding that students with identifiable Asian names tend to face higher teacher expectations and also tended to score higher on examinations. (David N. Figlio, University of Florida and the National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2005)...

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