Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina
This paper presents a model where teacher effects on long-run outcomes reflect effects on both cognitive skills (measured by test-scores) and non-cognitive skills (measured by non-test-score outcomes). Consistent with the model, results from administrative data show that teachers have causal effects on skills not measured by testing, but reflected in absences, suspensions, grades, and on-time grade progression. Teacher effects on these non-test-score outcomes in 9th grade predict longer-run effects on high-school completion and proxies for college-going—above and beyond their effects on test scores. Effects on non-test-score outcomes are particularly important for English teachers for whom including effects on the non-test-score outcomes triples the predicable variability of teacher effects on longer-run outcomes.