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Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools

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  • Daniel Aaronson
  • Lisa Barrow
  • William Sander

Abstract

We estimate the importance of teachers in Chicago public high schools using matched student-teacher administrative data. A one standard deviation, one semester improvement in math teacher quality raises student math scores by 0.13 grade equivalents or, over 1 year, roughly one-fifth of average yearly gains. Estimates are relatively stable over time, reasonably impervious to a variety of conditioning variables, and do not appear to be driven by classroom sorting or selective score reporting. Also, teacher quality is particularly important for lower-ability students. Finally, traditional human capital measures—including those determining compensation—explain little of the variation in estimated quality.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:25:y:2007:p:95-135
    DOI: 10.1086/508733
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