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Who Leaves? Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement

Author

Listed:
  • Donald Boyd
  • Pam Grossman
  • Hamilton Lankford
  • Susanna Loeb
  • James Wyckoff

Abstract

Almost a quarter of entering public-school teachers leave teaching within their first three years. High attrition would be particularly problematic if those leaving were the more able teachers. The goal of this paper is estimate the extent to which there is differential attrition based on teachers' value-added to student achievement. Using data for New York City schools from 2000-2005, we find that first-year teachers whom we identify as less effective at improving student test scores have higher attrition rates than do more effective teachers in both low-achieving and high-achieving schools. The first-year differences are meaningful in size; however, the pattern is not consistent for teachers in their second and third years. For teachers leaving low-performing schools, the more effective transfers tend to move to higher achieving schools, while less effective transfers stay in lower-performing schools, likely exacerbating the differences across students in the opportunities they have to learn.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14022 Note: ED LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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).
    2. 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.
    3. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2003. "Analyzing the Determinants of the Matching Public School Teachers to Jobs: Estimating Compensating Differentials in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 9878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Torberg Falch & Marte Rønning, 2007. "The Influence of Student Achievement on Teacher Turnover," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 177-202.
    6. 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.
    7. 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," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 793-818.
    8. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "Explaining the Short Careers of High-Achieving Teachers in Schools with Low-Performing Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 166-171, May.
    9. Podgursky, Michael & Monroe, Ryan & Watson, Donald, 2004. "The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 507-518, October.
    10. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2005. "Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education," NBER Working Papers 11463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
    12. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 793-818.
    2. Cory Koedel & Michael Podgursky & Shishan Shi, 2013. "Teacher Pension Systems, the Composition of the Teaching Workforce, and Teacher Quality," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(3), pages 574-596, June.
    3. Sean Corcoran & Dan Goldhaber, 2013. "Value Added and Its Uses: Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 418-434, July.
    4. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:396-418 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Helen F. Ladd & Lucy C. Sorensen, 2017. "Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 241-279, Spring.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30749606 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Susanna Loeb & Demetra Kalogrides & Tara Béteille, 2011. "Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention," NBER Working Papers 17177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stacy, Brian, 2014. "Ranking Teachers when Teacher Value-Added is Heterogeneous Across Students," EconStor Preprints 104743, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    9. Steele, Jennifer L. & Pepper, Matthew J. & Springer, Matthew G. & Lockwood, J.R., 2015. "The distribution and mobility of effective teachers: Evidence from a large, urban school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 86-101.
    10. Ávalos, Beatrice & Valenzuela, Juan Pablo, 2016. "Education for all and attrition/retention of new teachers: A trajectory study in Chile," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 279-290.
    11. Joshua M. Cowen & Marcus A. Winters, 2013. "Do Charters Retain Teachers Differently? Evidence from Elementary Schools in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 14-42, January.
    12. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2013. "Can higher-achieving peers explain the benefits to attending selective schools? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 63-77.
    13. Stuit, David A. & Smith, Thomas M., 2012. "Explaining the gap in charter and traditional public school teacher turnover rates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 268-279.
    14. Sam Sims, 2016. "High-Stakes Accountability and Teacher Turnover: how do different school inspection judgements affect teachers' decisions to leave their school?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-14, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    15. Goldhaber, Dan & Krieg, John & Theobald, Roddy, 2014. "Knocking on the door to the teaching profession? Modeling the entry of prospective teachers into the workforce," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-124.

    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

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