School Based Accountability and the Distribution of Teacher Quality
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School Based Accountability and the Distribution of Teacher Quality Across Grades in Elementary Schools. Sarah Fuller Helen Ladd Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. Purpose. To determine how high quality teachers are distributed between upper and lower elementary school

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Sarah Fuller Helen Ladd Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

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School Based Accountability and the Distribution of Teacher QualityAcross Grades in Elementary Schools

Sarah Fuller

Helen Ladd

Duke University

Sanford School of Public Policy


Purpose

To determine how high quality teachers are distributed between upper and lower elementary school

To determine the role of accountability in the distribution of high quality teachers


Motivations

  • Concern that children in early elementary are receiving low quality teachers

    • Reduced effectiveness of investments in early childhood programs

  • Accountability systems that test only upper grades incentivize principals to strategically place best teachers in the upper grades


Previous Literature

  • Role of Teacher Preferences

    • Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2008

  • Bigger Role of Strategic Behavior by Principals

    • Cohen-Vogel, 2011

    • Chingosand West, 2011


Data

  • North Carolina administrative data for the school years 1995-2009

  • Accountability Programs

    • 1995-1996: No Accountability

    • 1997-2002: North Carolina ABCs

    • 2003-2009: No Child Left Behind (NCLB)


Measures of Teacher Quality

  • Teacher Licensure Test Scores

    • Standardized by test type and year taken

    • Averaged across all tests taken by teacher

  • Value-Added Index

    • Value-added calculated for upper grades (3-5)

    • Value-added regressed on qualifications including:

      • Less than 3 years experience

      • Licensure test score

      • College selectivity

      • Master’s degree

      • Lateral entry

    • Value-added index predicted for all teachers


Descriptive Results


Teacher Test Scores Over Time

ABCs

NCLB


Value-Added Index Over Time

ABCs

NCLB


School Level Regressions

  • Outcomes

    • Lower Grade Shortfall:

      • Difference between lower grade average and upper grade average

  • Independent Variables

    • Accountability Regimes

    • School Level Free/Reduced Price Lunch Quintiles


Shortfall by Free/Reduced Price Lunch Quintile

Note: Empty bars are not statistically different from zero.


Shortfall by Accountability Regimes

Note: Empty bars are not statistically significant.


Teacher Test Scores by Free/Reduced Lunch Quintile and Accountability Regime


Value-Added Index by Free/Reduced Lunch Quintile and Accountability Regime


Teacher Movement

  • Moving teachers between grades is a potential mechanism for sorting by teacher quality

  • Moving Up

    • Expect teachers with higher qualifications to be more likely to move up to the upper grades

  • Moving Down

    • Expect teachers with higher qualifications to be less likely to move down to the lower grades


Movement of Teachers by Test Scores

Note: Coefficients expressed as marginal effects calculated at the mean of the independent variables.


Movement of Teachers by Value-added

Note: Coefficients expressed as marginal effects calculated at the mean of the independent variables.


Summary

  • Consistent shortfall in teacher quality in the lower grades compared to the upper grades

  • The introduction of NCLB increases shortfall in teacher quality in the lower grades

    • The increase is larger in the most disadvantaged schools


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