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Teacher Turnover, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement in DCPS

Author

Listed:
  • Melinda Adnot
  • Thomas Dee
  • Veronica Katz
  • James Wyckoff

Abstract

In practice, teacher turnover appears to have negative effects on school quality as measured by student performance. However, some simulations suggest that turnover can instead have large, positive effects under a policy regime in which low-performing teachers can be accurately identified and replaced with more effective teachers. This study examines this question by evaluating the effects of teacher turnover on student achievement under IMPACT, the unique performance-assessment and incentive system in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Employing a quasi-experimental design based on data from the first year years of IMPACT, we find that, on average, DCPS replaced teachers who left with teachers who increased student achievement by 0.08 SD in math. When we isolate the effects of lower-performing teachers who were induced to leave DCPS for poor performance, we find that student achievement improves by larger and statistically significant amounts (i.e., 0.14 SD in reading and 0.21 SD in math). In contrast, the effect of exits by teachers not sanctioned under IMPACT is typically negative but not statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Melinda Adnot & Thomas Dee & Veronica Katz & James Wyckoff, 2016. "Teacher Turnover, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement in DCPS," NBER Working Papers 21922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21922
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    Cited by:

    1. Julie Berry Cullen & Cory Koedel & Eric Parsons, 2021. "The Compositional Effect of Rigorous Teacher Evaluation on Workforce Quality," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 16(1), pages 7-41, Winter.
    2. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li & Matthew G. Springer & Li Tan, 2016. "The Impact of Performance Ratings on Job Satisfaction for Public School Teachers," Working Papers 1617, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    3. Brian Jacob & Jonah E. Rockoff & Eric S. Taylor & Benjamin Lindy & Rachel Rosen, 2016. "Teacher Applicant Hiring and Teacher Performance: Evidence from DC Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 22054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lavertu, Stéphane & Clair, Travis St., 2018. "Beyond spending levels: Revenue uncertainty and the performance of local governments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 59-80.

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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