Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers’ Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement

New Findings, School Reform, November 2016

Middle school math teach­ers favor girls when they grade, a new MIT report finds. Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers’ Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement presents results from a study of 35 mid­dle schools in France, find­ing that teach­ers’ gen­der biases have a sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive effect on boys’ progress rel­a­tive to girls in both math and lit­er­acy. By com­par­ing the grades given by teach­ers who were aware of stu­dent gen­der to grades given by exter­nal graders unaware of stu­dent gen­der, the study finds that sixth-grade girls receive grades from their math teach­ers that are 6 per­cent higher than boys.