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Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency

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Listed:
  • Jason A. Grissom
  • Susanna Loeb
  • Nathaniel Nakashima

Abstract

Despite claims that school districts need flexibility in teacher assignment to allocate teachers more equitably across schools and improve district performance, the power to involuntarily transfer teachers across schools remains hotly contested. Little research has examined involuntary transfer policies or their effects on schools, teachers, or students. This article uses administrative data from Miami-Dade County Public Schools to investigate the implementation and effects of the district's involuntary transfer policy, including which schools transferred and received teachers, which teachers were transferred, what kinds of teachers replaced them in their former schools, and how their performance--as measured by their work absences and value-added in math and reading--compared before and after the transfer. We find that, under the policy, principals in the lowest-performing schools identified relatively low-performing teachers for transfer who, based on observable characteristics, would have been unlikely to leave on their own. Consistent with an equity improvement, we find that involuntarily transferred teachers were systematically moved to higher-performing schools. Efficiency impacts are mixed; although transferred teachers had nearly 2 fewer absences per year in their new schools, transferred teachers continued to have low value-added in their new schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason A. Grissom & Susanna Loeb & Nathaniel Nakashima, 2013. "Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 19108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2013. "Match Quality, Worker Productivity, and Worker Mobility: Direct Evidence from Teachers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1096-1116, October.
    2. Thomas Cornelissen, 2008. "The Stata command felsdvreg to fit a linear model with two high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 170-189, June.
    3. Mariesa A. Herrmann & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "Worker Absence and Productivity: Evidence from Teaching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 749-782.
    4. Susanna Loeb & Demetra Kalogrides & Tara B├ęteille, 2012. "Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 7(3), pages 269-304, July.
    5. C. Kirabo Jackson & Elias Bruegmann, 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 85-108, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2011. "Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority versus Measures of Effectiveness," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 439-454, July.
    8. Jason A. Grissom & Lael R. Keiser, 2011. "A supervisor like me: Race, representation, and the satisfaction and turnover decisions of public sector employees," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 557-580, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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