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Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross-Subject Analysis with Student Fixed Effects

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  • Charles T. Clotfelter
  • Helen F. Ladd
  • Jacob L. Vigdor

Abstract

We use data on statewide end-of-course tests in North Carolina to examine the relationship between teacher credentials and student achievement at the high school level. We find compelling evidence that teacher credentials, particularly licensure and certification, affects student achievement in systematic ways and that the magnitudes are large enough to be policy relevant. Our findings imply that the uneven distribution of teacher credentials by race and socioeconomic status of high school students—a pattern we also document—contributes to achievement gaps in high school. In addition, some troubling findings emerge related to the gender and race of the teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross-Subject Analysis with Student Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:iii:1:p655-681
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
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    8. repec:pri:edures:25ers.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "How and Why do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 12828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    12. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1051-1078, Elsevier.
    13. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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