by Jennifer Hodges

STANFORD (KCBS) — Students who take ethnic studies classes in high school perform better academically and are more likely to show up for school than student who do not take them, according to scholars at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

The study, published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that taking ethnic studies not only improved students’ grades and attendance, it also increased the number of credits earned toward graduation.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Pleasant Hill In-N-Out Burger Shut Down for Repeatedly Defying COVID Health Order

“We found that this program was remarkably successful,” said Emily Penner, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s GSE. “In fact, so successful that when we saw those results, we almost couldn’t believe it.”

READ MORE: Google Ads Gain Fuels 3rd Quarter Profit For Parent Company Alphabet

Penner said they found the classes almost work like a social-psychological intervention for kids, pushing them to analyze their own identity.

“Essentially, (the classes are) giving these kids tools to identify ethnic stereotypes that might be affecting them, and also giving them tools for how to identify external forces that might be contributing to some of their academic challenges,” said Penner.

MORE NEWS: San Francisco Chinatown Businesses Targeted In ADA Lawsuits Getting Additional Legal Help

The study comes as school districts in many states, including California, are considering cuts to ethnic studies classes.