The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago

Brian A. Jacob, Lars Lefgren

NBER Working Paper No. 8916
Issued in April 2002
NBER Program(s):Children, Economics of Education

While there is a substantial literature on the relationship between general teacher characteristics and student learning, school districts and states often rely on in-service teacher training as a part of school reform efforts. Recent school reform efforts in Chicago provide an opportunity to examine in-service training using a quasi-experimental research design. In this paper, we use a regression discontinuity strategy to estimate the effect of teacher training on the math and reading performance of elementary students. We find that marginal increases in-service training have no statistically or academically significant effect on either reading or math achievement, suggesting that modest investments in staff development may not be sufficient to increase the achievement of elementary school children in high poverty schools.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8916

Published: Jacob, B. and L. Lefgren. “The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago.” Journal of Human Resources 39, 1 (2004): 50-79. citation courtesy of

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