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Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?

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  • Jonah E. Rockoff
  • Brian A. Jacob
  • Thomas J. Kane
  • Douglas O. Staiger

Abstract

Research on the relationship between teachers' characteristics and teacher effectiveness has been underway for over a century, yet little progress has been made in linking teacher quality with factors observable at the time of hire. However, most research has examined a relatively small set of characteristics that are collected by school administrators in order to satisfy legal requirements and set salaries. To extend this literature, we administered an in-depth survey to new math teachers in New York City and collected information on a number of non-traditional predictors of effectiveness including teaching specific content knowledge, cognitive ability, personality traits, feelings of self-efficacy, and scores on a commercially available teacher selection instrument. Individually, we find that only a few of these predictors have statistically significant relationships with student and teacher outcomes. However, when all of these variables are combined into two primary factors summarizing cognitive and non-cognitive teacher skills, we find that both factors have a modest and statistically significant relationship with student and teacher outcomes, particularly with student test scores. These results suggest that, while there may be no single factor that can predict success in teaching, using a broad set of measures can help schools improve the quality of their teachers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14485.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Publication status: published as Jonah E. Rockoff & Brian A. Jacob & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2011. "Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 43-74, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14485

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  1. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
  2. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2005. "Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education," NBER Working Papers 11463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & Jonah Rockoff & James Wyckoff, 2008. "The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and its Implications for Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools," NBER Working Papers 14021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hal Hill & Budy P. Resosudarmo, 2012. "Introduction," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 129-142, August.
  6. Douglas Harris & Tim R. Sass, 2006. "The Effects of Teacher Training on Teacher Value Added," Working Papers wp_2006_03_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  7. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2008. "The Impact of Assessment and Accountability on Teacher Recruitment and Retention," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(1), pages 88-111, January.
  8. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Does Mentoring Reduce Turnover and Improve Skills of New Employees? Evidence from Teachers in New York City," NBER Working Papers 13868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  10. Dan D. Goldhaber & Dominic J. Brewer, 1997. "Why Don't Schools and Teachers Seem to Matter? Assessing the Impact of Unobservables on Educational Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 505-523.
  11. Donald Boyd & Pamela Grossman & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  13. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "How and Why do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 12828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Z. Schochet & Hanley S. Chiang, 2010. "Error Rates in Measuring Teacher and School Performance Based on Student Test Score Gains," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6721, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Jesse Rothstein, 2012. "Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters," NBER Working Papers 18419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Leigh, Andrew, 2012. "Teacher pay and teacher aptitude," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 41-53.
  4. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 16850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Match Quality, Worker Productivity, and Worker Mobility: Direct Evidence From Teachers," NBER Working Papers 15990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Metzler, Johannes & Wößmann, Ludger, 2012. "The impact of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement: Evidence from within-teacher within-student variation," Munich Reprints in Economics 19216, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Jones, Michael D., 2013. "Teacher behavior under performance pay incentives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-164.
  8. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matthew M. Chingos & Martin R. West, 2010. "Do More Effective Teachers Earn More Outside of the Classroom?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2996, CESifo Group Munich.

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