Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements

36 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2005

See all articles by Joshua D. Angrist

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jonathan Guryan

Northwestern University - Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) Program; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2005

Abstract

The education reform movement includes efforts to raise teacher quality through stricter certification and licensing provisions. Most US states now require public school teachers to pass a standardized test such as the Praxis. Although any barrier to entry is likely to raise wages in the affected occupation, the theoretical effects of such requirements on teacher quality are ambiguous. Teacher testing places a floor on whatever skills are measured by the required test, but testing is also costly for applicants. These costs shift teacher supply to the left and may be especially likely to deter high-quality applicants from teaching in public schools. Moreover, test requirements may disqualify some applicants that schools would otherwise want to hire. We use the Schools and Staffing Survey to estimate the effect of state teacher testing requirements on teacher wages and teacher quality as measured by educational background. The results suggest that state-mandated teacher testing increases teacher wages with no corresponding increase in quality.

Keywords: occupational licensure, education reform, worker screening

JEL Classification: I28, J44, J45

Suggested Citation

Angrist, Joshua and Guryan, Jonathan, Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements (February 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1500. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=673481

Joshua Angrist (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-353
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8909 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jonathan Guryan

Northwestern University - Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) Program ( email )

2046 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
176
Abstract Views
1,681
rank
136,575
PlumX Metrics