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Teacher Layoffs, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Discretionary Layoff Policy

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  • Matthew A. Kraft

    (Brown University, Providence)

Abstract

Most teacher layoffs during the Great Recession were implemented following inverse-seniority policies. In this paper, I examine the implementation of a discretionary layoff policy in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Administrators did not uniformly lay off the most or least senior teachers but instead selected teachers who were previously retired, late-hired, unlicensed, lowperforming, or nontenured. Using quasi-experimental variation within schools across grades, I then estimate the differential effects of teacher layoffs on student achievement based on teacher seniority and effectiveness. Mathematics achievement in grades that lost an effective teacher, as measured by principal evaluations or value-added scores, decreased 0.05 to 0.11 standard deviations more than in grades that lost an ineffective teacher. In contrast, teacher seniority has limited predictive power on the effects of layoffs. Simulation analyses show that the district selected teachers who were, on average, less effective than those teachers identified under an inverse-seniority policy, and also reduced job losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew A. Kraft, 2015. "Teacher Layoffs, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Discretionary Layoff Policy," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(4), pages 467-507, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:10:y:2015:i:4:p:467-507
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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/EDFP_a_00171
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dabbs, Christine M., 2020. "Restricting seniority as a factor in public school district layoffs: Analyzing the impact of state legislation on graduation rates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    2. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li & Matthew G. Springer & Li Tan, 2016. "The Impact of Performance Ratings on Job Satisfaction for Public School Teachers," Working Papers 1617, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    3. Steven Bednar & Dora Gicheva, 2019. "Workplace Support and Diversity in the Market for Public School Teachers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(2), pages 272-297, Spring.
    4. Dabbs, Christine, 2018. "Restricting seniority as a factor in public school district layoffs: Analyzing the impact of state legislation on graduation rates," MPRA Paper 89344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Cook, Jason & Lavertu, Stéphane & Miller, Corbin, 2021. "Rent-Seeking through collective bargaining: Teachers unions and education production☆," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; teacher union; macroeconomics; law; tax; policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare
    • K - Law and Economics
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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