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The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and its Implications for Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools

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  • Donald Boyd
  • Hamilton Lankford
  • Susanna Loeb
  • Jonah Rockoff
  • James Wyckoff

Abstract

The gap between the qualifications of New York City teachers in high-poverty schools and low-poverty schools has narrowed substantially since 2000. Most of this gap-narrowing resulted from changes in the characteristics of newly hired teachers, and largely has been driven by the virtual elimination of newly hired uncertified teachers coupled with an influx of teachers with strong academic backgrounds in the Teaching Fellows program and Teach for America. The improvements in teacher qualifications, especially among the poorest schools, appear to have resulted in improved student achievement. By estimating the effect of teacher attributes using a value-added model, the analyses in this paper predict that observable qualifications of teachers resulted in average improved achievement for students in the poorest decile of schools of .03 standard deviations, about half the difference between being taught by a first year teacher and a more experienced teacher. If limited to teachers who are in the first or second year of teaching, where changes in qualifications are greatest, the gain equals two-thirds of the first-year experience effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & Jonah Rockoff & James Wyckoff, 2008. "The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and its Implications for Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools," NBER Working Papers 14021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & EJohn F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2004. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    3. Donald Boyd & Pam Grossman & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2008. "Who Leaves? Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Krieg, John M., 2006. "Teacher quality and attrition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 13-27, February.
    8. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
    9. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767.
    10. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
    11. Bonesronning, Hans & Falch, Torberg & Strom, Bjarne, 2005. "Teacher sorting, teacher quality, and student composition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 457-483, February.
    12. 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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