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.