The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring: Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools

41 Pages Posted: 10 May 2010 Last revised: 18 Aug 2010

See all articles by Donald Boyd

Donald Boyd

SUNY at Albany

Hamilton Lankford

SUNY at Albany - College of Arts and Sciences

Susanna Loeb

Stanford University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew Ronfeldt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James Wyckoff

University of Virginia

Date Written: May 2010

Abstract

Many large urban school districts are rethinking their personnel management strategies, often giving increased control to schools in the hiring of teachers, reducing, for example, the importance of seniority. If school hiring authorities are able to make good decisions about whom to hire, these reforms have the potential to benefit schools and students. Prior research on teacher transfers uses career history data, identifying the school in which a teacher teaches in each year. When this data is used to see which teachers transfer, it is unclear the extent to which the patterns are driven by teacher preferences or school preferences, since the matching of teachers to schools is a two-sided choice. This study uses applications-to-transfer data to examine separately which teachers apply for transfer and which get hired and, in so doing, differentiates teacher from school preferences. Holding all else equal, we find that teachers with better pre-service qualifications (certification exam scores; college competitiveness) are more likely to apply for transfer, while teachers whose students demonstrate higher achievement growth are less likely. On the other hand, schools prefer to hire "higher quality" teachers across measures that signal quality. The results suggest not only that more effective teachers prefer to stay in their school, but that when given the opportunity schools are able to identify and hire the best candidates.

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Donald and Lankford, Hamilton and Loeb, Susanna and Ronfeldt, Matthew and Wyckoff, James, The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring: Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools (May 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15966, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601717

Donald Boyd (Contact Author)

SUNY at Albany ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Hamilton Lankford

SUNY at Albany - College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Susanna Loeb

Stanford University ( email )

School of Education 402P CERAS, 520 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-725-4262 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew Ronfeldt

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

James Wyckoff

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
31
Abstract Views
582
PlumX Metrics