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Study Finds Weak Economy Equals More Effective Teachers

Study Finds Weak Economy Equals More Effective Teachers

There aren't many upsides to a weak economy, but according to a new study, one of them is the hiring of stronger teachers.

Said the researchers behind the study, "How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide the first causal evidence on this question..." by directly assessing "teacher quality with value-added measures [VAMs] of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on 33,000 teachers in Florida public schools. " 

Important to note, many educators and teacher unions dismiss the effectiveness of VAMs, controversial statistical formulas in evaluating teacher effectiveness and quality.

Regardless, the preemptive study found that "[t]eachers hired during recessions were significantly more effective, as judged by their students’ performance on standardized tests, than teachers hired during better economic times, according to working paper published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research," said The Washington Post.

It's not surprising that the state of the economy or job market would have an impact on the quality of new teachers, but for weaker to provide stronger?

The results indicated that, indeed, weak economic times led to the hiring of more effective teachers based on the VAMs.

"Teachers who entered the profession during recessions were roughly one-tenth of a standard deviation more effective in raising students’ math test scores than teachers who entered the profession during better economic times. The recession effect was smaller in reading — about half as large," the article said.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/29/2015

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