Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation

51 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2008 Last revised: 28 Jan 2009

See all articles by Thomas J. Kane

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Douglas Staiger

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

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

We used a random-assignment experiment in Los Angeles Unified School District to evaluate various non-experimental methods for estimating teacher effects on student test scores. Having estimated teacher effects during a pre-experimental period, we used these estimates to predict student achievement following random assignment of teachers to classrooms. While all of the teacher effect estimates we considered were significant predictors of student achievement under random assignment, those that controlled for prior student test scores yielded unbiased predictions and those that further controlled for mean classroom characteristics yielded the best prediction accuracy. In both the experimental and non-experimental data, we found that teacher effects faded out by roughly 50 percent per year in the two years following teacher assignment.

Suggested Citation

Kane, Thomas J. and Staiger, Douglas, Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation (December 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14607. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1320852

Thomas J. Kane (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Douglas Staiger

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-643-2979 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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