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The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring: Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools

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  • Donald Boyd
  • Hamilton Lankford
  • Susanna Loeb
  • Matthew Ronfeldt
  • James Wyckoff

Abstract

Many large urban school districts are rethinking their personnel management strategies, often giving increased control to schools in the hiring of teachers, reducing, for example, the importance of seniority. If school hiring authorities are able to make good decisions about whom to hire, these reforms have the potential to benefit schools and students. Prior research on teacher transfers uses career history data, identifying the school in which a teacher teaches in each year. When this data is used to see which teachers transfer, it is unclear the extent to which the patterns are driven by teacher preferences or school preferences, since the matching of teachers to schools is a two-sided choice. This study uses applications-to-transfer data to examine separately which teachers apply for transfer and which get hired and, in so doing, differentiates teacher from school preferences. Holding all else equal, we find that teachers with better pre-service qualifications (certification exam scores; college competitiveness) are more likely to apply for transfer, while teachers whose students demonstrate higher achievement growth are less likely. On the other hand, schools prefer to hire “higher quality” teachers across measures that signal quality. The results suggest not only that more effective teachers prefer to stay in their school, but that when given the opportunity schools are able to identify and hire the best candidates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15966.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Publication status: published as Don Boyd & Hamp Lankford & Susanna Loeb & Matthew Ronfeldt & Jim Wyckoff, 2011. "The role of teacher quality in retention and hiring: Using applications to transfer to uncover preferences of teachers and schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 88-110, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15966

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  1. Benjamin Scafidi & David L. Sjoquist & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2005. "Race, Poverty, and Teacher Mobility," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20053, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "Explaining the Short Careers of High-Achieving Teachers in Schools with Low-Performing Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 166-171, May.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Teachers, Race and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Li Feng, 2009. "Opportunity Wages, Classroom Characteristics, and Teacher Mobility," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1165-1190, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Ali Protik & Steven Glazerman & Julie Bruch & Bing-ru Teh, 2013. "Staffing a Low-Performing School: Behavioral Responses to Selective Teacher Transfer Incentives," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7996, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Susanna Loeb & Demetra Kalogrides & Tara Béteille, 2011. "Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention," NBER Working Papers 17177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Preferences and skills of Indian public sector teachers," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-31, December.
  4. Thomas Dee & James Wyckoff, 2013. "Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance: Evidence from IMPACT," NBER Working Papers 19529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Elisabetta Gentile & Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 17337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Allison Atteberry & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2013. "Do First Impressions Matter? Improvement in Early Career Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 19096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Karbownik, Krzysztof, 2014. "The determinants of teacher mobility in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2014:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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