Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement

52 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2006

See all articles by Eric A. Hanushek

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

John F. Kain

University of Texas at Dallas - Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 1998

Abstract

Considerable controversy surrounds the impact of schools and teachers on the achievement of students. This paper disentangles the separate factors influencing achievement with special attention given to the role of teacher differences and other aspects of schools. Unique matched panel data from the Harvard/UTD Texas Schools Project permit distinguishing between total effects and the impact of specific, measured components of teachers and schools. While schools are seen to have powerful effects on achievement differences, these effects appear to derive most importantly from variations in teacher quality. A lower bound suggests that variations in teacher quality account for at least 7« percent of the total variation in student achievement, and there are reasons to believe that the true percentage is considerably larger. The subsequent analysis estimates educational production functions based on models of achievement growth with individual fixed effects. It identifies a few systematic factors a negative impact of initial years of teaching and a positive effect of smaller class sizes for low income children in earlier grades but these effects are very small relative to the effects of overall teacher quality differences.

Suggested Citation

Hanushek, Eric A. and Kain, John F. and Rivkin, Steven G., Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement (August 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6691. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=122569

Eric A. Hanushek (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-736-0942 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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John F. Kain

University of Texas at Dallas - Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society ( email )

Mail Station GC21
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Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States
(972) 883-2555 (Phone)
(972) 883-2551 (Fax)

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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