Paying Teachers for Advanced Degrees: Evidence on Student Performance from Georgia

The Journal of Private Enterprise, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008

See all articles by Noel D. Campbell

Noel D. Campbell

University of Central Arkansas

Edward J. Lopez

Western Carolina University

Date Written: May 5, 2008

Abstract

Georgia offers salary incentives for K-12 educators to obtain post-baccalaureate degrees, intending to improve student performance. In this paper, we evaluate the empirical relationship between advanced degrees earned by teachers and student pass rates on the state high school graduation test. More advanced degrees do not significantly improve pass rates. We conclude the Devil is in the details. It is well known that educational performance is the product of the interaction of many factors, particularly family and socio-economic variables. Previous literature also draws only a weak relationship between teacher quality and salary incentives. Thus, Georgia's experience suggests it is difficult to design effective policy that conditions on indirect incentives to perform. Certain policies may fail because they are ill-conceived, or because interest group pressures interfere in their planning or execution. But sometimes policies fail because there is simply a limit to government's ability to solve problems.

Keywords: teacher pay, student performance, cost benefit analysis

JEL Classification: I220, I280

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Noel D. and Lopez, Edward J., Paying Teachers for Advanced Degrees: Evidence on Student Performance from Georgia (May 5, 2008). The Journal of Private Enterprise, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147162

Noel D. Campbell (Contact Author)

University of Central Arkansas ( email )

Conway, AR 72032
United States
(501)852-7743 (Phone)

Edward J. Lopez

Western Carolina University ( email )

College of Business
Forsyth 224C
Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.edwardjlopez.com

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