Monday, October 24, 2011

Teacher Quality and Ed Schools

Speaking of teacher quality, here's a very interesting paper showing some ed schools in the state of Washington produce more effective teachers than other ed schools.  Here's the abstract and conclusions (the entire paper can be downloaded at:


Abstract: With teacher quality repeatedly cited as the most important schooling factor influencing student

achievement, there has been increased interest in examining the efficacy of teacher training programs.

This paper presents research examining the variation between and impact that individual teacher training

institutions in Washington state have on the effectiveness of teachers they train. Using administrative data

linking teachers' initial endorsements to student achievement on state reading and math tests, we find the

majority of teacher training programs produce teachers who are no more or less effective than teachers

who trained out-of-state. However, we do find a number of cases where there are statistically significant

differences between estimates of training program effects for teachers who were credentialed at various

in-state programs. These findings are robust to a variety of different model specifications.



Our findings suggest that where teachers are credentialed explains only a very small

portion of the overall variation in the effectiveness of in-service teachers. This is now a common

finding in the educational productivity literature; it appears that the best assessments of teachers

are those based on actual classroom performance rather than pre- or in-service credentials. That

said, the differential in the average effectiveness of the teachers credentialed by various

programs is meaningful, in fact it is at least as important as years of experience and degree level.

This means that improving teacher training has the potential to greatly enhance the productivity

of the teacher workforce.

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