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Out-of-Field Teachers and Student Achievement

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas S. Dee

    (Swarthmore College and NBER)

  • Sarah R. Cohodes

    (The Urban Institute)

Abstract

This study examines whether subject-specific teacher certification and academic degrees are related to teacher quality. The research design exploits contemporaneous, within-student comparisons made possible by a unique feature of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). Specifically, NELS:88 contains subject-specific outcomes for eighth-grade students in two subjects as well as data on their teachers for those subjects. The analysis of these data indicates that assignment to a subject-certified teacher is associated with higher test scores. However, these gains appear to be concentrated in social studies and mathematics. Furthermore, the authors also find that subject-certified teachers are not more effective at promoting the intellectual engagement of their students but are more likely to have negative opinions of a given student's performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas S. Dee & Sarah R. Cohodes, 2008. "Out-of-Field Teachers and Student Achievement," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(1), pages 7-32, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:7-32
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tatiana Khavenson & Yulia Tyumeneva, 2012. "Teacher Characteristics and Student Achievements in TIMSS. Findings Gained from Applying the "First-Difference" Method to TIMSS-2007 Data," HSE Working papers WP BRP 06/EDU/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Cortes, Kalena E. & Bricker, Jesse & Rohlfs, Chris, 2010. "The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 5031, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Andrey Zakharov & Martin Carnoy & Prashant Loyalka, 2013. "Which teaching practices improve student performance on high-stakes exams? Evidence from Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 13/EDU/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    5. Cortes Kalena E. & Bricker Jesse & Rohlfs Chris, 2012. "The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, June.
    6. Thomas Dee & Martin West, 2008. "The Non-Cognitive Returns to Class Size," NBER Working Papers 13994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jesse Bricker & Kalena E. Cortes & Chris Rohlfs, 2010. "The role of specific subjects in education production functions: evidence from morning classes in Chicago public high schools," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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