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

Listed author(s):
  • Matthew A. Kraft

    ()

    (Brown University, Providence)

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.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/EDFP_a_00171
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 467-507

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:10:y:2015:i:4:p:467-507
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  13. repec:hrv:faseco:30749073 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. C. Kirabo Jackson & Elias Bruegmann, 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 85-108, October.
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  17. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2593-2632, September.
  18. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
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