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Reward or punishment? Class size and teacher quality

  • Barrett, Nathan
  • Toma, Eugenia F.
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    The high stakes testing and school accountability components of our K-12 education system create an incentive for principals to behave strategically to maximize school performance. One possible approach is the adjustment of class sizes based on observed teacher effectiveness. Conceptually, this relationship may be positive or negative. On one hand, performance-maximizing principals may place more students in the classrooms of more effective teachers. But because administrators may have compensation constraints, it is also plausible that they may reward more effective teachers with fewer students in the classroom. This paper examines whether principals reward effective teachers by decreasing their class size or whether they increase the size of classes of more effective teachers as a means of enhancing the school outcome. Results overall indicate that more effective teachers do have larger classes. This result holds implications for prior policy studies of class size as well as for education policy more generally.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775713000447
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 41-52

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:41-52
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
    2. Harris, Douglas N. & Sass, Tim R., 2011. "Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 798-812.
    3. Figlio, David N., 1997. "Teacher salaries and teacher quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 267-271, August.
    4. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ladd, Helen F. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2007. "Teacher credentials and student achievement: Longitudinal analysis with student fixed effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 673-682, December.
    5. Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 6051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F34-F63, February.
    7. Dale Ballou, 2009. "Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-383, October.
    8. Nathan Barrett & J. S. Butler & Eugenia F. Toma, 2012. "Do Less Effective Teachers Choose Professional Development Does It Matter?," Evaluation Review, , vol. 36(5), pages 346-374, October.
    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. 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.
    11. Eric A. Hanushek, 1998. "Conclusions and controversies about the effectiveness of school resources," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 11-27.
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