Bad behavior? Understanding the correlation of racial mismatch and teachers' perceptions of student behavior.
Research shows that teachers’ treatment and perceptions of students will vary based upon the race of the teacher and student. When teachers share the same race as the student, the student will benefit in the way of higher expectations, evaluations, and treatment from teachers. This study examines teachers’ perceptions of students’ behavior at varying levels of racial mismatch. Hierarchical OLS models are used to test for contextual affects in schools with varying percentages of minority composition. This study finds support for racial mismatch theory as white teachers perceive more student behavior problems in schools consisting of 50% or more minority students. The nonsymmetry hypothesis holds in this study as minority teachers do not think any more positively or negatively of student behavior at schools in which they are racially mismatched. The importance of these findings is discussed, reasons for the differences are theorized, and prescriptions for remedying these differences are presented and considered.