Testing, Teacher Turnover and the Distribution of Teachers across Grades and Schools

47 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020

See all articles by Dillon Fuchsman

Dillon Fuchsman

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Tim R. Sass

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Date Written: January 30, 2020

Abstract

Teacher turnover has adverse consequences for student achievement and imposes large financial costs for schools. Some have argued that high-stakes testing may lower teachers’ satisfaction with their jobs and could be a major contributor to teacher attrition. In this paper, we exploit changes in the tested grades and subjects in Georgia to study the effects of eliminating high-stakes testing on teacher turnover and the distribution of teachers across grades and schools. To measure the effect of testing pressures on teacher mobility choices we use a "difference-in-differences" approach, comparing changes in mobility over time in grades/subjects that discontinue testing vis-à-vis grades/subjects that are always tested. Our results show that eliminating testing did not have an impact on the likelihood of leaving teaching, changing schools within a district, or moving between districts. We only uncover small negative effects on the likelihood of grade switching. However, we do find relevant positive effects on retention of beginning teachers in the profession. In particular, the average probability of exit for teachers with 0-4 years of experience fell from 14 to 13 percentage points for teachers in grades 1 and 2 and from 14 to 11 percentage points in grades 6 and 7.

Keywords: Teacher turnover, High-stakes Testing, Accountability Pressure, Difference-in-differences approach

Suggested Citation

Fuchsman, Dillon and Sass, Tim and Zamarro, Gema, Testing, Teacher Turnover and the Distribution of Teachers across Grades and Schools (January 30, 2020). EDRE Working Paper No. 2020-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3530939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3530939

Dillon Fuchsman (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Tim Sass

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States
404-413-0150 (Phone)
404-413-0145 (Fax)

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/gema_zamarro/

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