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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

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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, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:09/212
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    File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2009/wp212.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Murphy, Richard, 2016. "Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 61-76.
    2. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2015. "Assessing teacher quality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 74-83.
    3. 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, August.
    4. repec:taf:jdevst:v:53:y:2017:i:10:p:1731-1747 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Yi Long & Christopher Nyland & Russell Smyth, 2017. "Fiscal Decentralisation, the Knowledge Economy and School Teachers’ Wages in Urban China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(10), pages 1731-1747, October.
    6. Burgess, Simon & Metcalfe, Robert & Sadoff, Sally, 2016. "Understanding the Response to Financial and Non-Financial Incentives in Education: Field Experimental Evidence Using High-Stakes Assessments," IZA Discussion Papers 10284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. repec:kap:jproda:v:49:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-017-0517-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; test scores; teacher effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

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

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