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The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago

  • Brian A. Jacob
  • Lars Lefgren

While there is a substantial literature on the relationship between general teacher characteristics and student learning, school districts and states often rely on in-service teacher training as a part of school reform efforts. Recent school reform efforts in Chicago provide an opportunity to examine in-service training using a quasi-experimental research design. In this paper, we use a regression discontinuity strategy to estimate the effect of teacher training on the math and reading performance of elementary students. We find that marginal increases in in-service training have no statistically or academically significant effect on either reading or math achievement, suggesting that modest investments in staff development may not be sufficient to increase the achievement of elementary school children in high-poverty schools.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 39 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:1:p5-79
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Ladd, Helen F., 1996. "The Dallas School Accountability and Incentive Program: An Evaluation of Its Impacts on Student Outcomes," Working Papers 96-18, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  5. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Local Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2004. "Disruption versus Tiebout improvement: the costs and benefits of switching schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1721-1746, August.
  7. Levitt, Steven D., 2002. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2wj7v1j4, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  8. Jinyong Hahn & Petra Todd & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 1999. "Evaluating the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Law Using a Regression-Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 7131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1998. "Does Teacher Training Affect Pupil Learning? Evidence from Matched Comparisons in Jerusalem Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 6781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richards, Craig E. & Sheu, Tian Ming, 1992. "The South Carolina school incentive reward program: A policy analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 71-86, March.
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