IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/juecon/v66y2009i2p103-115.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools

Author

Listed:
  • Buddin, Richard
  • Zamarro, Gema

Abstract

Teacher quality is a key element of student academic success, but few specific teacher characteristics influence classroom outcomes. This research examines whether teacher licensure test scores and other teacher attributes affect elementary student achievement. The results are based on longitudinal student-level data from Los Angeles. California requires three types of teacher licensure tests as part of the teacher certification process; a general knowledge test, a subject area test (single subject for secondary teachers and multiple subject for elementary teachers), and a reading pedagogy test for elementary school teachers. The student achievement analysis uses a value-added approach that adjusts for both student and teacher fixed effects. The results show large differences in teacher quality across the school district, but measured teacher characteristics explain little of the difference. Teacher licensure test scores are unrelated to teacher success in the classroom. Similarly, student achievement is unaffected by whether classroom teachers have advanced degrees. Student achievement increases with teacher experience, but the linkage is weak and largely reflects poor outcomes for teachers during their first year or two in the classroom.

Suggested Citation

  • Buddin, Richard & Zamarro, Gema, 2009. "Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 103-115, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:103-115
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094-1190(09)00029-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," NBER Working Papers 9263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    3. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
    4. Amine Ouazad, 2008. "Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective Evaluations," CEE Discussion Papers 0098, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    5. Angrist, Joshua D. & Guryan, Jonathan, 2008. "Does teacher testing raise teacher quality? Evidence from state certification requirements," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 483-503, October.
    6. Gibbons, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2008. "Urban density and pupil attainment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 631-650, March.
    7. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    8. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A. Jacob, 2007. "Is Gaining Access to Selective Elementary Schools Gaining Ground? Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," NBER Chapters,in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 43-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Richard Buddin & Gena Zamarro, 2008. "Teacher Quality, Teacher Licensure Tests, and Student Achievement," Working Papers 555, RAND Corporation.
    13. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2008. "Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 101-136.
    14. 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.
    15. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2007. "Re-Examining the Role of Teacher Quality In the Educational Production Function," Working Papers 0708, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    16. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-431, July.
    17. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-1346, December.
    18. Strauss, Robert P. & Sawyer, Elizabeth A., 1986. "Some new evidence on teacher and student competencies," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 41-48, February.
    19. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    20. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
    21. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    22. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1995. "Recruiting Smarter Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 326-338.
    23. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
    24. 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 1141-1177, September.
    25. Dan Goldhaber, 2007. "Everyone’s Doing It, But What Does Teacher Testing Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. León, Gianmarco & Valdivia, Martín, 2015. "Inequality in school resources and academic achievement: Evidence from Peru," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 71-84.
    2. Elizabeth Dhuey & Justin Smith, 2014. "How important are school principals in the production of student achievement?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(2), pages 634-663, May.
    3. Nghiem, Son & Nguyen, Ha & Connelly, Luke, 2014. "The Efficiency of Australian Schools: Evidence from the NAPLAN Data 2009-2011," MPRA Paper 56231, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Son Nghiem & Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B. Connelly, 2016. "The Efficiency of Australian Schools: A Nationwide Analysis Using Gains in Test Scores of Students as Outputs," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(3), pages 256-268, September.
    5. Aenneli Houkes-Hommes & Bas Weel & Karen Wiel, 2016. "Measuring the Contribution of Primary-School Teachers to Education Outcomes in The Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(4), pages 357-364, December.
    6. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Ramos, Yalitza & Ansong, David, 2015. "How do student and school characteristics influence youth academic achievement in Ghana? A hierarchical linear modeling of Ghana YouthSave baseline data," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 129-140.
    7. Engberg, John & Gill, Brian & Zamarro, Gema & Zimmer, Ron, 2012. "Closing schools in a shrinking district: Do student outcomes depend on which schools are closed?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 189-203.
    8. Kevin C. Bastian & Gary T. Henry & Charles L. Thompson, 2013. "Incorporating Access to More Effective Teachers into Assessments of Educational Resource Equity," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 560-580, October.
    9. Richard Buddin & Gema Zamarro, 2009. "Teacher Effectiveness in Urban High Schools," Working Papers WR-693-IES, RAND Corporation.
    10. Richard Buddin & Gema Zamarro, 2009. "Teacher Effectiveness in Urban High Schools," Working Papers 693, RAND Corporation.
    11. Richard Buddin & Gema Zamarro, 2009. "Teacher Qualifications and Middle School Student Achievement," Working Papers WR-671-IES, RAND Corporation.
    12. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2017. "The Local Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Schools, Students, and Teachers," Working Papers 2017-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 26 Jan 2018.
    13. Buddin, Richard, 2011. "Measuring teacher and school effectiveness at improving student achievement in Los Angeles elementary schools," MPRA Paper 31963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Richard Buddin & Gema Zamarro, 2009. "Teacher Qualifications and Middle School Student Achievement," Working Papers 671, RAND Corporation.
    15. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Wohlschlegel, Ansgar, 2012. "Regulation in the market for education and optimal choice of curriculum," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-65.
    16. Wang, Dan & Wang, Jingying & Li, Hui & Li, Ling, 2017. "School context and instructional capacity: A comparative study of professional learning communities in rural and urban schools in China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-9.
    17. Eren, Ozkan & Henderson, Daniel J., 2011. "Are we wasting our children's time by giving them more homework?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 950-961, October.
    18. Peter Leopold S. Bergman & Matthew J. Hill, 2015. "The Effects of Making Performance Information Public: Evidence from Los Angeles Teachers and a Regression Discontinuity Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 5383, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Buddin, Richard, 2010. "How effective are Los Angeles elementary teachers and schools?," MPRA Paper 27366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. repec:pit:wpaper:396 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2015. "The Labor Market and School Finance Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Teacher Quality and Student Achievement," Working Papers 2015-15, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:103-115. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.