Assessing Teacher Quality in India

31 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2014

See all articles by Mehtabul Azam

Mehtabul Azam

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

University of London - Institute of Education

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 21, 2014


Using administrative data from linked private schools from one of districts in India that matches 8,319 pupils to their subject specific teachers at the senior secondary level, we estimate the importance of individual teachers on student outcomes in the high-stake senior secondary exam (at the end of twelfth-grade). We control for prior achievement at the secondary level (at the end of tenth-grade) to estimate the value added of a teacher over a two year course, and define a good teacher as one who consistently gets higher achievement for students. In addition to the prior achievement, we exploit the fact that students took exams in multiple subjects during their senior secondary exam to control for pupil fixed effects. We find a considerable variability in teacher effectiveness over a two year course — a one standard deviation improvement in teacher quality adds 0.38 standard deviation points in students score. Furthermore, consistent with studies in the US, we find that although teacher quality matters, the observed characteristics explain little of the variability in teacher quality.

Keywords: teacher value-added, teacher quality, student achievement, India

JEL Classification: I21, O15

Suggested Citation

Azam, Mehtabul and Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, Assessing Teacher Quality in India (October 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Mehtabul Azam (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

University of London - Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

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