Educators and policy makers, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have said in recent days they hope President Obama's example as a model student could inspire millions of American students, especially blacks, to higher academic performance. Now, researchers say they have documented this so-called Obama effect, reports the New York Times. Their study shows that a performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a 20-question test administered before Obama's nomination all but disappeared when the exam was administered after his acceptance speech and again after the presidential election. The inspiring role model that Obama projected helped blacks overcome anxieties about


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