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How effective are Los Angeles elementary teachers and schools?


  • Buddin, Richard


This study uses value-added methods to examine the effectiveness of Los Angeles elementary teachers and schools. The results show that teacher effectiveness varies substantially across the school district. Most of the variance in teacher effectiveness is within schools and not across schools. Traditional measures of teacher quality like experience and advanced degrees are weakly related to teacher effectiveness. Teacher effectiveness is more variable in mathematics than in language arts.

Suggested Citation

  • Buddin, Richard, 2010. "How effective are Los Angeles elementary teachers and schools?," MPRA Paper 27366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27366

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Guryan, Jonathan, 2008. "Does teacher testing raise teacher quality? Evidence from state certification requirements," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 483-503, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Daniel F. McCaffrey & Tim R. Sass & J. R. Lockwood & Kata Mihaly, 2009. "The Intertemporal Variability of Teacher Effect Estimates," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 572-606, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Buddin, Richard & Zamarro, Gema, 2009. "Teacher qualifications and student achievement in urban elementary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 103-115, September.
    6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    7. Douglas Harris & Tim R. Sass, 2006. "The Effects of Teacher Training on Teacher Value Added," Working Papers wp_2006_03_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    8. 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.
    9. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2007. "Re-Examining the Role of Teacher Quality In the Educational Production Function," Working Papers 0708, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    10. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ladd, Helen F. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2007. "Teacher credentials and student achievement: Longitudinal analysis with student fixed effects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 673-682, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Buddin, Richard, 2011. "Measuring teacher and school effectiveness at improving student achievement in Los Angeles elementary schools," MPRA Paper 31963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Steele, Jennifer L. & Pepper, Matthew J. & Springer, Matthew G. & Lockwood, J.R., 2015. "The distribution and mobility of effective teachers: Evidence from a large, urban school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 86-101.
    3. Peter Leopold S. Bergman, 2015. "Parent-Child Information Frictions and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 5391, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Peter Leopold S. Bergman & Matthew J. Hill, 2015. "The Effects of Making Performance Information Public: Evidence from Los Angeles Teachers and a Regression Discontinuity Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 5383, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Imberman, Scott A. & Lovenheim, Michael F., 2016. "Does the market value value-added? Evidence from housing prices after a public release of school and teacher value-added," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 104-121.

    More about this item


    teacher quality; teacher effectiveness; student achievement; value-added analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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