Teachers expect less from students with unusual or oddly punctuated names such as Da’Quan and LaQuisha, concludes economist David Figlio, a University of Florida professor. From the Washington Post:
Figlio said these kids also pay a price for their names when teachers and administrators make decisions about who gets promoted to the next grade level or selected to participate in “gifted” student programs: “Drews” are slightly more likely to be recommended for enrichment classes while “Damarcuses” are rejected, even when they have identical test scores.
He used birth certificate data “to identify first names that had a high probability of being associated with a mother who was unmarried or a teenager at the time when her child was born, was a high school dropout and came from an impoverished family, independent of the mother’s race.” While blacks are most likely to pick these names, low-income whites and Hispanics also go for names like “Jazzmyn” and “Chlo’e.”
Figlio compared school data on exotically named children with their conventionally named siblings.
Figlio determined that children with names associated with low socioeconomic status scored lower on their reading and mathematics tests than their siblings with less race or class-identifiable names.
. . . Students with identifiable “Asian” first names were more likely to be recommended for special enrichment programs than siblings with more stereotypically American first names and similar test scores.
Thanks to Jeff Boulier of eChickens for the tip.