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Do Principals Fire the Worst Teachers?

  • Brian A. Jacob
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    This paper takes advantage of a unique policy change to examine how principals make decisions regarding teacher dismissal. In 2004, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) signed a new collective bargaining agreement that gave principals the flexibility to dismiss probationary teachers for any reason and without the documentation and hearing process that is typically required for such dismissals. With the cooperation of the CPS, I matched information on all teachers that were eligible for dismissal with records indicating which teachers were dismissed. With this data, I estimate the relative weight that school administrators place on a variety of teacher characteristics. I find evidence that principals do consider teacher absences and value-added measures, along with several demographic characteristics, in determining which teachers to dismiss.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15715.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15715.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2010
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    Publication status: published as Jacob, Brian A. ( 2011 ). “Do Pr incipals Fire the Worst Teachers?” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis . 33(4): 403 - 434,
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15715
    Note: CH ED LS PE
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    National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

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    1. Strauss, Robert P. & Bowes, Lori R. & Marks, Mindy S. & Plesko, Mark R., 2000. "Improving teacher preparation and selection: lessons from the Pennsylvania experience," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 387-415, October.
    2. Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2002. "An Analysis of Occupational Change and Departure from the Labor Force: Evidence of the Reasons that Teachers Leave," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 192-216.
    3. Bradley, Steve & Green, Colin & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Worker absence and shirking: Evidence from matched teacher-school data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-334, June.
    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. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Daniel M. O'Brien & Steven G. Rivkin, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 11154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
    7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Randy A. Ehrenberg & Daniel I. Rees & REric L. Ehrenberg, 1991. "School District Leave Policies, Teacher Absenteeism, and Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 72-105.
    8. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stinebrickner, Todd R., 1998. "An Empirical Investigation of Teacher Attrition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 127-136, April.
    10. Peter Dolton & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 1999. "The Turnover of Teachers: A Competing Risks Explanation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 543-550, August.
    11. Brian A. Jacob, 2010. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Evidence from Public Schooling," NBER Working Papers 15655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1981. "Causes and Consequences of Layoffs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 270-96, April.
    13. Charles Brown, 1990. "The Quality Dimension in Army Retention," NBER Working Papers 3337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
    15. Harry J. Holzer & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1998. "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes for Minority Workers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 835-867.
    16. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "Are Teacher Absences Worth Worrying About in the U.S.?," NBER Working Papers 13648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Dale Ballou, 1996. "Do Public Schools Hire the Best Applicants?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 97-133.
    18. Philip Moss & Chris Tilly, 1995. "Skills and Race in Hiring: Quantitative Findings from Face-to-Face Interviews," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 357-374, Summer.
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