Teacher Quality at the High-School Level: The Importance of Accounting for Tracks
Unlike in elementary school, high-school teacher effects may be confounded with both selection to tracks and unobserved track-level treatments. I document sizable confounding track effects, and show that traditional tests for the existence of teacher effects are likely biased. After accounting for these biases, high-school algebra and English teachers have much smaller test-score effects than found in previous studies. Moreover, unlike in elementary school, value-added estimates are weak predictors of teachers' future performance. Results indicate that either (a) teachers are less influential in high school than in elementary school, or (b) test scores are a poor metric to measure teacher quality at the high-school level.
This paper previously circulated as "Do High-School Teachers Really Matter?" I would like to thank David Figlio and Jon Guryan for helpful comments. All errors are my own. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"Teacher Quality at the High-School Level: The Importance of Accounting for Tracks" forthcoming Journal of Labor Economics. (available as NBER Working Paper 17722) citation courtesy of