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Does Mentoring Reduce Turnover and Improve Skills of New Employees? Evidence from Teachers in New York City

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  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Abstract

Mentoring has become an extremely popular policy for improving the retention and performance of new teachers, but we know little about its effects on teacher and student outcomes. I study the impact of mentoring in New York City, which adopted a nationally recognized mentoring program in 2004. I use detailed program data to examine the relationship between teacher and student outcomes and measures of mentoring quality, such as hours of mentoring received and the characteristics of mentors. Although assignment of teachers to mentors was non-random, I use instrumental variables and school fixed effects to address potential sources of bias. I find strong relationships between measures of mentoring quality and teachers' claims regarding the impact of mentors on their success in the classroom, but weaker evidence of effects on teacher absences, retention, and student achievement. The most consistent finding is that retention within a particular school is higher when a mentor has previous experience working in that school, suggesting that an important part of mentoring may be the provision of school specific knowledge. I also find evidence that student achievement in both reading and math were higher among teachers that received more hours of mentoring, supporting the notion that time spent working with a mentor does improve teaching skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Does Mentoring Reduce Turnover and Improve Skills of New Employees? Evidence from Teachers in New York City," NBER Working Papers 13868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13868
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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Lavy, 2011. "What Makes an Effective Teacher? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 16885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zenobia NICULITA, 2015. "Teachers' work style development as means of preventing their high staff turnover rates," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 41(2(50)), pages 121-130, december.
    3. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Injecting Successful Charter School Strategies into Traditional Public Schools: A Field Experiment in Houston," NBER Working Papers 17494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Emiliana Vegas & Alejandro Ganimian & Analia Jaimovich, 2012. "Learning from the Best : Improving Learning Through Effective Teacher Policies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10057, The World Bank.
    6. Jonah E. Rockoff & Brian A. Jacob & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2011. "Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 43-74, January.
    7. Rockoff, Jonah E. & Speroni, Cecilia, 2011. "Subjective and objective evaluations of teacher effectiveness: Evidence from New York City," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 687-696, October.
    8. repec:mpr:mprres:6365 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Susan Payne Carter & Whitney Dudley & David S. Lyle & John Z. Smith, 2016. "Who's the Boss? The Effect of Strong Leadership on Employee Turnover," NBER Working Papers 22383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kim, Young Chul, 2009. "Lifetime Network Externality and the Dynamics of Group Inequality," MPRA Paper 18767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 15898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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