Teachers’ perceptions of students’ executive functions: Disparities by gender, ethnicity, and ELL status.

Teacher-report is commonly used to assess executive functions (EFs) in schools, but teachers’ perceptions of EF skills may be biased by students’ demographic characteristics. In this short-term longitudinal study, we assessed whether students’ gender, ethnicity, and English language learner (ELL) status predicted teachers’ reports of students’ EFs, beyond what would be expected based on direct assessment of EFs. In addition, we tested whether these associations changed between the fall and spring. Data were drawn from a school-based study of third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students (N = 558, 33 classrooms, 8 schools) in which students’ EFs were measured using direct assessments and teacher reports in the fall and spring. Using path analysis to control for the contribution of the direct assessment of EFs, we found systematic gender, ethnic, and ELL status disparities in teachers’ reports of students’ EFs. Moreover, these disparities did not change between the fall and spring. Given increased interest in incorporating teachers’ report of students’ EF skills into student report cards and school accountability indices, researchers and practitioners should further investigate and address the potential for systematic disparities in teachers’ reports of EFs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)