How Do Teachers’ and Parents’ Expectations Come Together to Influence Adolescents’ Educational Success?

Benner, Aprile D.
Fernandez, Celeste C.
Hou, Yang
Smith Gonzalez, Chelsea
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University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center
gaps among its students. Students of color and those from lower-income backgrounds often have poorer academic attainment compared to White students and those from higher-income families. Understanding the processes that could reduce disparities in academic achievement are critical to improving educational practice. Teachers’ and parents’ expectations for the educational futures of youth strongly influence how well the youth do academically. Using data from a large, nationally‐representative sample of students, PRC faculty scholar Aprile Benner, PRC graduate student trainee Celeste Fernandez, and colleagues, find that high teacher expectations are critical for youth academic achievement and can mitigate the negative effects of low parent expectations. They argue that improving educational expectations that teachers hold for all students has the potential to greatly assist youth who are often marginalized in educational settings.