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How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement

  • Matthew Ronfeldt
  • Hamilton Lankford
  • Susanna Loeb
  • James Wyckoff

Researchers and policymakers often assume that teacher turnover harms student achievement, but recent evidence calls into question this assumption. Using a unique identification strategy that employs grade-level turnover and two classes of fixed-effects models, this study estimates the effects of teacher turnover on over 600,000 New York City 4th and 5th grade student observations over 5 years. The results indicate that students in grade-levels with higher turnover score lower in both ELA and math and that this effect is particularly strong in schools with more low-performing and black students. Moreover, the results suggest that there is a disruptive effect of turnover beyond changing the composition in teacher quality.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17176.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17176.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Publication status: published as How teacher turnover harms student achievement (with Matthew Ronfeldt, and James Wyckoff). American Educational Research Journal, 50(1), pp. 4-36. 2013 .
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17176
Note: ED
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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Constrained Job Matching: Does Teacher Job Search Harm Disadvantaged Urban Schools?," NBER Working Papers 15816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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