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How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Ronfeldt & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2011. "How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 17176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17176
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17176.pdf
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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 & 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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    Cited by:

    1. D. Mark Anderson & Mary Beth Walker, 2015. "Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance? Evidence from the Four-Day School Week," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 314-349, July.
    2. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li, 2016. "The Efficiency Implications Of Using Proportional Evaluations To Shape The Teaching Workforce," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 47-62, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Boyd, Donald & Grossman, Pamela & Ing, Marsha & Lankford, Hamilton & Loeb, Susanna & O’Brien, Rachel & Wyckoff, James, 2011. "The effectiveness and retention of teachers with prior career experience," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1229-1241.
    5. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John P. Papay & Martin R. West & Jon B. Fullerton & Thomas J. Kane, 2011. "Does Practice-Based Teacher Preparation Increase Student Achievement? Early Evidence from the Boston Teacher Residency," NBER Working Papers 17646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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