The significance of the racial contract in teachers’ college expectancies for students of color

Daniel Liou, Leticia Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Drawing on the theories of the racial contract and whiteness as property, this one-year qualitative case study explored the ways in which 27 classroom teachers harnessed school structure and classroom curriculum to support the college readiness of students of color in two California school districts. The study discovered that these teacher participants displayed different degrees of race consciousness, prompting contradictory expectancy practices. Negative expectations often reinforced ideologies and material conditions associated with the racial contract and, in effect, perpetuated whiteness as the racial construct of college-going abilities. Conversely, those teachers who operated with a higher degree of race consciousness reported more equitable teaching practices that emphasized self-respect, solidarity, and education as a collective contract for the common good. The study draws conclusions that impact educational policies, particularly those that identify college readiness as the benchmark of equity and high-school success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-731
Number of pages20
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020


  • College readiness
  • curricular practices
  • school reform
  • social justice teaching
  • teacher expectations
  • urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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