Washington, Apr. 4 (ANI): Teachers in the United States tend to unconsciously “over assess” Indian and Chinese students under the age of 11, while systematically mark down black children, a new study has found.
Academics, who looked at the marks given to thousands of children at the age 11 in Sats (nationally set tests marked remotely) found that black pupils perform consistently better in external exams than in teacher assessment.
They concluded that low expectations are damaging children’s prospects.
“What is worrying is that if students do not feel that a teacher appreciates them or understands them, then they are not going to try so hard,” The Observer quoted Simon Burgess, University of Bristol Professor and co-author of the report, as saying.
The study also shows that white children from very poor neighbourhoods were under-assessed when compared with their better-off peers.
The survey comes in the wake of the National Union of Teachers’ call to boycott the Sats test for 11-year-olds.
They believe the external tests are distorting education and should be replaced by teachers’ assessments.
However, Burgess believes that the tests were the only opportunity some children had to “prove their teachers wrong”.
“These findings suggest that going down the route of abolishing key stage tests at age 11 would be a bad idea,” he said.
Ed Balls, the secretary of state, seconded him, saying concerns about stereotyping were one reason he did not want to abolish the tests.
“There are still schools, particularly in white, working-class communities, where the attitude is ‘the children here don’t do so well, we do the best with what we have got, aspirations aren’t high’. That is unacceptable,” he said.
But John Bangs, of the National Union of Teachers, said that if there was stereotyping it should be tackled by improving teacher training so teachers could better assess children themselves, not by retaining Sats.