Children from poorer families perceived by teachers as less able, says study

Richard Adams:

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with special needs may be marked down in critical primary school assessments because of unconscious bias affecting their teachers, according to research published on Tuesday.

The research also suggests familiar gender stereotypes – that boys are good at maths and girls are better at reading – may create a vicious cycle, and that this may “continue to play a part in creating and perpetuating inequalities”.

The work by University College London’s Institute of Education compared results from standardised tests by nearly 5,000 primary school pupils in England with assessments of their ability by their teachers. It found significant differences in how the pupils performed compared with their teachers’ judgment.

Related. Tyranny of low expectations.

Poverty & Education Forum (2005):

Rafael Gomez organized an excellent Forum Wednesday evening on Poverty and Education. Participants include:

Tom Kaplan: Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty kaplan at

Ray Allen, Former Madison Board of Education Member, Publisher – Madison Times

Maria Covarrubias: A Teacher at Chavez Elementary mcovarrubias at

Mary Kay Baum: Executive Director; Madison-Area Urban Ministry mkb at

Bob Howard: Madison School District rhoward at