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28 November 2011

App Stats: Friedman on "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Students' Outcomes in Adulthood"

We hope you can join us this Wednesday, November 30, 2011 for the final Applied Statistics Workshop of the semester. John Friedman, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will give a presentation entitled "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Students' Outcomes in Adulthood". A light lunch will be served at 12 pm and the talk will begin at 12.15.

"The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Students' Outcomes in Adulthood"
John Friedman
Harvard Kennedy School
CGIS K354 (1737 Cambridge St.)
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 12.00 pm


The use of test-score-based "value-added" (VA) measures to evaluate teachers is controversial, among other reasons, because (1) there is little evidence on whether high VA teachers improve student outcomes in adulthood and (2) there is debate about whether VA measures provide unbiased estimates of teacher quality. We address these issues by analyzing school district data from grades 3-8 for 2.5 million children linked to data on parents and adult outcomes from tax records. We find that the degree of bias due to selection is small using tests based on previously unobserved parent characteristics and a new quasi-experimental research design based on changes in teaching staff. We then show that high VA teachers increase their students' probability of college attendance, raise earnings, reduce teenage birth rates, and improve the quality of the neighborhood in which their students live in adulthood. The impacts of teacher VA are roughly constant across grades 4-8. A one standard deviation improvement in teacher VA in a single grade raises earnings by 1% at age 28. Replacing a teacher whose VA is in the bottom 5% with an average teacher would increase students' lifetime income by approximately $300,000 for the average classroom in our sample.

Posted by Konstantin Kashin at November 28, 2011 12:24 AM