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Do teachers matter? Measuring the variation in teacher effectiveness in England

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  • Helen Slater
  • Simon Burgess
  • Neil Davies

Abstract

Using a unique primary dataset for the UK, we estimate the effect of individual teachers on student outcomes, and the variability in teacher quality. This links over 7000 pupils to the individual teachers who taught them, in each of their compulsory subjects in the high-stakes exams at age 16. We use point-in-time fixed effects and prior attainment to control for pupil heterogeneity. We find considerable variability in teacher effectiveness, a little higher than the estimates found in the few US studies. We also corroborate recent findings that observed teachers’ characteristics explain very little of the differences in estimated effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Helen Slater & Simon Burgess & Neil Davies, 2009. "Do teachers matter? Measuring the variation in teacher effectiveness in England," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/212, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:09/212
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Atkinson, Adele & Burgess, Simon & Croxson, Bronwyn & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Slater, Helen & Wilson, Deborah, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of performance-related pay for teachers in England," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 251-261, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141, Elsevier.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Goel, Deepti & Barooah, Bidisha, 2018. "Drivers of Student Performance: Evidence from Higher Secondary Public Schools in Delhi," GLO Discussion Paper Series 231, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Lindsey Macmillan, 2020. "Do selective schooling systems increase inequality?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-24.
    3. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Murphy, Richard, 2016. "Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 61-76.
    4. Nicole Black & Sonja C. de New, 2020. "Short, Heavy and Underrated? Teacher Assessment Biases by Children's Body Size," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(5), pages 961-987, October.
    5. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2015. "Assessing teacher quality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 74-83.
    6. Gershenson, Seth, 2021. "Identifying and Producing Effective Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 14096, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Simon Burgess & Robert Metcalfe & Sally Sadoff, 2016. "Understanding the Response to Financial and Non-Financial Incentives in Education: Field Experimental Evidence Using High-Stakes Assessments," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 16/678, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    8. Aktoty Aitzhanova & Shigeo Katsu & Johannes F. Linn & Vladislav Yezhov (ed.), 2014. "Kazakhstan 2050: Toward a Modern Society for All," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number kazakh2050, June.
    9. Oscar David Marcenaro‐Gutierrez & Luis Alejandro Lopez‐Agudo, 2020. "Does Teacher Subject Knowledge Contribute to Student Academic Performance in Developing and Least Developed Countries?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 88(3), pages 267-297, September.
    10. Isabella Sulis & Mariano Porcu & Vincenza Capursi, 2019. "On the Use of Student Evaluation of Teaching: A Longitudinal Analysis Combining Measurement Issues and Implications of the Exercise," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 1305-1331, April.
    11. DeVolder, Russell & Serra-Sastre, Victoria & Zamora, Bernarda, 2020. "Examining the variation across acute trusts in patient delayed discharge," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 124(11), pages 1226-1232.
    12. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & José Montalbán & Felix Weinhardt, 2021. "Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8846, CESifo.
    13. Daniel Santín & Gabriela Sicilia, 2018. "Using DEA for measuring teachers’ performance and the impact on students’ outcomes: evidence for Spain," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-15, February.
    14. Marcus Munafò & Neil M. Davies & George Davey Smith, 2020. "Can genetics reveal the causes and consequences of educational attainment?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 183(2), pages 681-688, February.
    15. Yi Long & Chris Nyland & Russell Smyth, 2016. "Fiscal Decentralisation, the Knowledge Economy and School Teachers’ Wages in Urban China," Monash Economics Working Papers 13-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; test scores; teacher effectiveness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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