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Class-size Reduction Policies and the Quality of Entering Teachers

  • Steven, Dieterle

State-wide class-size reduction (CSR) policies have typically failed to produce large achievement gains. One explanation is that the introduction of such policies forces schools to hire relatively low-quality teachers. This paper uses data from an anonymous state to explore whether teacher quality suff ered from the introduction of CSR. We find that it did, but not nearly enough to explain the small achievement effects of CSR. The combined fall in achievement due to hiring lower quality teachers and more inexperienced teachers is small relative to the unrealized gains. Furthermore, between-school diff erences in the quality of incoming teachers cannot explain the poor estimated CSR performance from previous quasi-experimental treatment-control comparisons.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/444
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2013-14.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:444
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  1. Douglas O. Staiger & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2010. "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 97-118, Summer.
  2. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 2000. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 7656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Li Feng, 2009. "Opportunity Wages, Classroom Characteristics, and Teacher Mobility," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1165-1190, April.
  4. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
  5. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  7. Jonah Rockoff, 2009. "Field Experiments in Class Size from the Early Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 211-30, Fall.
  8. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2009. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Working Papers 0902, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2009. "Class Size Reduction and Student Achievement: The Potential Tradeoff between Teacher Quality and Class Size," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  10. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
  11. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
  13. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:4:p:1593-1660 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2010. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 16381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Chingos, Matthew M., 2012. "The impact of a universal class-size reduction policy: Evidence from Florida's statewide mandate," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 543-562.
  17. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
  18. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2011. "Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority versus Measures of Effectiveness," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 439-454, July.
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