Teacher Turnover, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement in Dcps

43 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016 Last revised: 8 Feb 2016

See all articles by Melinda Adnot

Melinda Adnot

University of Virginia - The Curry School of Education

Thomas Dee

Stanford University

Veronica Katz

University of Virginia - The Curry School of Education

James Wyckoff

University of Virginia

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

In practice, teacher turnover appears to have negative effects on school quality as measured by student performance. However, some simulations suggest that turnover can instead have large, positive effects under a policy regime in which low-performing teachers can be accurately identified and replaced with more effective teachers. This study examines this question by evaluating the effects of teacher turnover on student achievement under IMPACT, the unique performance-assessment and incentive system in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Employing a quasi-experimental design based on data from the first year years of IMPACT, we find that, on average, DCPS replaced teachers who left with teachers who increased student achievement by 0.08 SD in math. When we isolate the effects of lower-performing teachers who were induced to leave DCPS for poor performance, we find that student achievement improves by larger and statistically significant amounts (i.e., 0.14 SD in reading and 0.21 SD in math). In contrast, the effect of exits by teachers not sanctioned under IMPACT is typically negative but not statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

Adnot, Melinda and Dee, Thomas and Katz, Veronica and Wyckoff, James, Teacher Turnover, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement in Dcps (January 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w21922, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2721785

Melinda Adnot (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - The Curry School of Education ( email )

Charlottesville, VA 22903-2495
United States

Thomas Dee

Stanford University ( email )

Veronica Katz

University of Virginia - The Curry School of Education ( email )

Charlottesville, VA 22903-2495
United States

James Wyckoff

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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