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What's in a name? Your child's future educational success, study shows.

A study done recently at the University of Florida has found that kids with exotic names don't do as well in school and don't get referred as often for gifted programs, etc.

It appears that exotic names are perceived as a low class phenomenon associated with less well educated parents.

Names are important because they can reveal a parent’s educational level and parental aspirations, and help to mold a person’s identity, becoming information that people use in forming expectations about a child, Figlio said. “On one level people are aware of this because the No. 2 segment of the book sales market is baby name books, after Bibles,” he said.

David Figlio is a University of Florida economist who did this research. He said,

"When you see a particular name, like David or Catherine, you internalize it in a different way than a name such as LaQuisha,” said Figlio, whose findings appear in a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. “And it could be that teachers start to make inferences about a student’s parents, the parent’s education level and the parents’ commitment to their children’s education based on the names the parents give their children.”

Angela and I had nine children and we were always very careful in picking our children's names being worried about how people might nick name our kids. For the most part, our children's names are strong, and have stood the test of time. After life itself, the next most important gift a parent gives a child is a name. Shop carefully. Choose wisely.

Link: Newswise | Black Students With Exotic Names Face School Barriers.



I wrote to the University of Florida about this report because I found it disturbing that the author did not bring up the fact that most teachers are white and have cultural biases that come into play when they work with children of different races. The training in cultural sensitivity for racist teachers and finding ways to allow more teachers from minority backgrounds to teach these students are really the issue...not the culturally diverse names that the parents choose for their children!!!

Barbara J. Malloy

I disagree with your statement. I am sure that Condaleezza Rice and Senator Obama can put your myth to rest. This world doesn't belong to just white people and we as other races have to stop submitting to them and changing our lives to make them comfortable. You are allowing other people to set goals for you and tell you what is right and wrong. I hope that while you are allowing it that you are also helping them to maximize who they are as a person. There are many great people with very unique names that have made their marks on this earth. So,your lack of knowledge on this matter shouldn't be taken seriously by others. The next time you decide to have a child perhaps Oprah will be an excellent name.

Barbara (Gifted, Talent and Wealthy) Not because of the name, it has to do with determination and awesome parents. Thanks to God.

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