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Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education

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  • Brian A. Jacob
  • Lars Lefgren

Abstract

We examine how well principals can distinguish between more and less effective teachers. To put principal evaluations in context, we compare them with the traditional determinants of teacher compensation—education and experience—as well as value-added measures of teacher effectiveness based on student achievement gains. We present “out-of-sample†predictions that mitigate concerns that the teacher quality and student achievement measures are determined simultaneously. We find that principals can generally identify teachers who produce the largest and smallest standardized achievement gains but have far less ability to distinguish between teachers in the middle of this distribution.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:26:y:2008:p:101-136
    DOI: 10.1086/522974
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
    2. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
    3. 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.
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