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Students from low-income families and students of color may perform poorly in school because their teachers simply do not believe in them.

A study published Tuesday by the left-leaning Center for American Progress, or CAP, looks at whether teacher expectations produce a Pygmalian effect that influences student achievement. Researchers found that students whose teachers expected them to graduate from college were significantly more likely to do so.

But teachers had lower expectations for disadvantaged students and students of color, the researchers found. Teachers thought a college degree was 47 percent less likely for African-American students than for white peers, and 53 percent less likely for low-income students than for students from more affluent families. Teachers thought Hispanic students were 42 percent less likely than white students to graduate from college, the study found.

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