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The Effect of Teach for America on the Distribution of Student Achievement in Primary School: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

  • Antecol, Heather


    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Eren, Ozkan


    (Louisiana State University)

  • Ozbeklik, Serkan


    (Claremont McKenna College)

Registered author(s):

    Using data from a randomized experiment and fixed effect quantile regression (FEQR), we look at the effects of having a TFA teacher on test scores across the entire achievement distribution of primary school students in disadvantaged neighborhoods. While we find that TFA teachers neither help nor hurt students in terms of reading test scores, we find positive and statistically significant effects of TFA over the entire math achievement distribution for the full sample and the effects are fairly uniform. We find a similar effect of TFA across the math test score distribution irrespective of student gender, although the FEQR estimates for female students are two to three times larger than for male students. In addition, we find that there is significant heterogeneity in the effects of TFA for Hispanic and black students and for students taught by novice teachers. Finally, we find that the effect of TFA is homogeneous across the math achievement distribution irrespective of certification type. Taken together, these patterns suggest that allowing highly qualified recent college graduates and mid-career professionals, who in the absence of TFA would not have taught in these disadvantaged neighborhoods, should have a positive influence not just on students at the top of the math achievement distribution but across the entire math achievement distribution.

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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7296.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2013, 37, 113-125
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7296
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    1. Jackson, Erika & Page, Marianne E., 2013. "Estimating the distributional effects of education reforms: A look at Project STAR," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 92-103.
    2. Paul T. Decker & Daniel P. Mayer & Steven Glazerman, 2004. "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c8b5eb6d499c465c86a96bee4, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Bitler, Marianne P. & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Hoynes, Hilary W., 2008. "Distributional impacts of the Self-Sufficiency Project," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 748-765, April.
    4. Adam Rosen, 2009. "Set identification via quantile restrictions in short panels," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. 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.
    6. Thomas J. Kane & Jonah E. Rockoff & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 12155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Charles Clotfelter & Elizabeth Glennie & Helen Ladd & Jacob Vigdor, 2006. "Would Higher Salaries Keep Teachers in High-Poverty Schools? Evidence from a Policy Intervention in North Carolina," NBER Working Papers 12285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    15. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    16. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
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    20. Abrevaya, Jason & Dahl, Christian M, 2008. "The Effects of Birth Inputs on Birthweight," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 379-397.
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