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Is a good elementary teacher always good? Assessing teacher performance estimates across subjects

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  • Goldhaber, Dan
  • Cowan, James
  • Walch, Joe

Abstract

In most elementary schools, teachers are responsible for several subjects. Various personnel policies, such as evaluating teachers based on value-added estimates aggregated across subjects or departmentalizing teachers, implicitly make assumptions about how closely teacher effectiveness is aligned across subjects. This paper reports on research exploring these issues using student–teacher linked data from North Carolina to assess the correlation of teacher productivity across math and reading. We find correlations of value-added estimates of about 0.6 and correlations in the underlying teacher effectiveness of 0.7–0.8. Assigning teachers to teach particular subjects based on their measured productivity could yield modest student achievement benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Goldhaber, Dan & Cowan, James & Walch, Joe, 2013. "Is a good elementary teacher always good? Assessing teacher performance estimates across subjects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 216-228.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:216-228
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.06.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Schiman, Jeffrey C., 2016. "Dynamic effects of teacher turnover on the quality of instruction," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 132-148.
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    3. Koedel, Cory & Mihaly, Kata & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2015. "Value-added modeling: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-195.
    4. Backes, Ben & Cowan, James & Goldhaber, Dan & Koedel, Cory & Miller, Luke C. & Xu, Zeyu, 2018. "The common core conundrum: To what extent should we worry that changes to assessments will affect test-based measures of teacher performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 48-65.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational economics; Productivity; Value-added; Teacher effectiveness; Human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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