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Teacher Quality at the High-School Level: The Importance of Accounting for Tracks

  • C. Kirabo Jackson

Unlike in elementary school, high-school teacher effects may be confounded with both selection to tracks and unobserved track-level treatments. I document sizable confounding track effects, and show that traditional tests for the existence of teacher effects are likely biased. After accounting for these biases, high-school algebra and English teachers have much smaller test-score effects than found in previous studies. Moreover, unlike in elementary school, value-added estimates are weak predictors of teachers' future performance. Results indicate that either (a) teachers are less influential in high school than in elementary school, or (b) test scores are a poor metric to measure teacher quality at the high-school level.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17722.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17722.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Teacher Quality at the High-School Level: The Importance of Accounting for Tracks" forthcoming Journal of Labor Economics. (available as NBER Working Paper 17722)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17722
Note: CH ED LS PE
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  1. Cory Koedel, 2007. "Teacher Quality and Dropout Outcomes in a Large, Urban School District," Working Papers 0713, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  2. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Match Quality, Worker Productivity, and Worker Mobility: Direct Evidence From Teachers," NBER Working Papers 15990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2008. "Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 101-136.
  4. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross-Subject Analysis with Student Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  5. 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.
  6. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2009. "Student Demographics, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from the End of School Desegregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 213-256, 04.
  7. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2009. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Working Papers 0902, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  8. 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.
  9. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "School competition and teacher labor markets: Evidence from charter school entry in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 431-448.
  10. C. Kirabo Jackson & Elias Bruegmann, 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers," NBER Working Papers 15202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Koedel, Cory, 2009. "An empirical analysis of teacher spillover effects in secondary school," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 682-692, December.
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