Does Diversity Really Matter?: The Interplay between Students’ Race and Their Teachers’ Level of Cultural Responsiveness

The United States continues to experience a persistent academic achievement gap between European American students and students of color from historically marginalized groups. In response, many researchers have found that culturally responsive educators are able to significantly reduce achievement gaps. In an attempt to better understand the achievement gap and cultural responsiveness, the researchers examined whether teachers’ level of cultural responsiveness differed based on the racial makeup of the student body. Using several theories, as identified in “Culturally Responsive Educational Theories” (2013), a culturally responsive survey was developed and administered to measure teachers’ initial level of cultural responsiveness. The study revealed that teachers who taught in schools with higher percentages of students of color had higher levels of overall cultural responsiveness as well as higher levels of cultural responsiveness as it relates to their efficacy and as it relates to their perspectives on students’ views and values. The findings strongly suggest that culturally responsive qualities are enhanced when educators have greater exposure to diverse learners.

Employment Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities: Evidence from Matched Pair Testing

In a situation-testing study, persons with and without mobility disabilities applied simultaneously for thirty-one sales positions at New York City clothing retailers. Nearly all applicants were treated courteously, but those with a disability were only 27 percent as likely to receive a job offer or otherwise advance as far in the hiring process as their equally qualified counterparts without a disability. Conscious or unconscious bias was documented by 41 percent of retailers tested. These findings demonstrate how employers’ perceptions, policies, and practices contribute substantially to the higher unemployment, lower earnings, lower labor-force participation, and widespread reports of discrimination for workers with disabilities. In contrast, some retailers’ employment of job seekers with mobility disabilities demonstrate that unbiased hiring of these workers in retail sales is feasible when employers follow “best practices.”

Diverse Values in American College Women

This article examines ethnicity-related differences and commonalities in women attending urban American universities. To follow up on a pilot study that suggested ethnic differences in self-reported sociotropy (social dependency), an empirical study of 121 undergraduate women attending New York metropolitan universities examined values and attitudes theoretically related to individualism in four different ethnic groups of college women: European Americans, African Americans, Eastern European immigrants, and Caribbean immigrants. Self-reports revealed that women of African descent perceive themselves as less interdependent, value reliance and dependency on others less, and value self-reliance more than do women of European descent. No differences were found between immigrants and American-born women. Results are discussed in terms of economic and social influences on cultural and personal development. The article also discusses implications for pedagogic techniques and ways of interacting with students.