Academic journal article Education Next

Profound Implications for State Policy

Academic journal article Education Next

Profound Implications for State Policy

Article excerpt

Over the last decade, research in public education has led us to three conclusions about the teaching profession: teachers are the most important in-school factor in determining student achievement; there is wide variation in teacher effectiveness; and those differences really matter for kids.

These findings should have profound implications for policymakers and practitioners. Now that we have evidence attesting to the enormous contributions of the most effective educators, if we are truly serious about improving student learning and closing the achievement gap, we must think anew about teacher recruitment, placement, evaluation, professional development, retention, and separation.

Raj Chetty, John Friedman, and Jonah Rockoff have helped advance the conversation through their longitudinal study of 2.5 million students over a 20-year span. The correlation between teacher effectiveness (as demonstrated by value-added student growth measures) and student life outcomes (higher salaries, advanced degrees, neighborhoods of residence, and retirement savings) is staggering; it's not an exaggeration to say that great teachers substantially improve students' future quality of life and those students' contributions to the common good. Conversely, traditional education output measures like student course completion, grades, and diplomas have a substantial degree of subjectivity across schools and districts and can potentially provide a misleading account of a student's college and career readiness.

In New Jersey, we are assessing where our finite resources are best invested. The Chetty study contrasts the opportunity cost of providing retention incentives to effective teachers with that of investments to attract new teachers. Similar cost/benefit questions arise in relation to shaping teacher-placement strategies, developing career ladders, and providing meaningful professional development. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.