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What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City

  • Kane, Thomas J.
  • Rockoff, Jonah E.
  • Staiger, Douglas O.

We use six years of panel data on students and teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of recently hired teachers in the New York City public schools. On average, the initial certification status of a teacher has small impacts on student test performance. However, among those with the same experience and certification status, there are large and persistent differences in teacher effectiveness. Such evidence suggests that classroom performance during the first two years is a more reliable indicator of a teacher's future effectiveness. We also evaluate turnover among teachers by initial certification status, and the implied impact on student achievement of hiring teachers with predictably high turnover. Given modest estimates of the payoff to experience, even high turnover groups (such as Teach for America participants) would have to be only slightly more effective in each year to offset the negative effects of their high exit rates (I2, J24).

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 615-631

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:615-631
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Figlio, David N. & Winicki, Joshua, 2005. "Food for thought: the effects of school accountability plans on school nutrition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 381-394, February.
  2. Ballou, Dale, 1996. "Do Public Schools Hire the Best Applicants?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 97-133, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Figlio, David N., 2006. "Testing, crime and punishment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 837-851, May.
  5. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel M. Koretz, 2002. "Limitations in the Use of Achievement Tests as Measures of Educators' Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 752-777.
  7. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1994. "Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from High School and Beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-17, March.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Paul T. Decker & Daniel P. Mayer & Steven Glazerman, 2004. "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c8b5eb6d499c465c86a96bee4, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. Douglas N. Harris & Tim R. Sass, 2009. "The effects of NBPTS-certified teachers on student achievement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 55-80.
  12. 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.
  13. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-88, May.
  14. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
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