Along with researchers from Northwestern University and University of Virginia, CCL’s Director of Global Strategic Research, Stephanie Wormington, published an article in Nature Human Behavior examining inequitable motivational payoff. Research and theory suggests that students’ academic achievement is a product of their motivation. However, most historical studies have been conducted with primarily white and middle-class samples. It is important to explore whether and why patterns may differ across students with different ethnic and racial identities.

Across three studies, results with 8000+ students suggest that, even when students reported the same level of motivation, math grades for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students was 9% lower than those of their White peers. This difference was explained by teachers’ diminished expectations for their students’ academic futures.