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The Effects of Teacher Match on Students’ Academic Perceptions and Attitudes


"Using student survey data from six U.S. school districts, we estimate how assignment to a demographically similar teacher affects student reports of personal effort, happiness in class, feeling cared for and motivated by their teacher, the quality of student-teacher communication, and college aspirations. Relying on a classroom fixed-effects strategy, we show that students assigned to a teacher with similar demographic characteristics experience positive benefits in terms of these academic perceptions and attitudes. The most consistent benefits are among gender matches, and the largest benefits are demonstrated by the combination of gender and racial/ethnic matches. The effects of gender matches are largely consistent across elementary and middle school, while the most consistent effects from race matches occur in middle school."