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Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua D. Angrist

    (MIT and NBER)

  • Jonathan Guryan

    (University of Chicago and NBER)

Abstract

Most US states require public school teachers to pass a standardized test for licensure. Although any such entry barrier is likely to raise wages, the theoretical effects on teacher quality are ambiguous. Testing places a floor on measured skills, but imposes costs, which may especially deter high-quality applicants. Moreover, testing may disqualify applicants that schools would otherwise hire. Estimates using Schools and Staffing Survey data suggest state-mandated testing is associated with increases in teacher wages, though we find no evidence of a corresponding increase in quality as measured by educational background. Testing also appears to reduce the fraction of new teachers who are Hispanic.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Jonathan Guryan, 2007. "Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements," Working Papers 21, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:edures:21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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