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Study: Teacher Experience Improves Job Performance

Recent findings from a handful of studies suggest that the idea that teachers improve over their first three or so years and plateau thereafter may not be true. In fact, they suggest the average teacher's ability to boost student achievement increases.

"Teachers' deepening experience appears to translate into other student benefits as well. One of the new studies, for example, links years on the job to declining rate of student absenteeism," reports Education Week. "Although the studies raise numerous questions for follow-up, the researchers say it may be time to retire the received—and somewhat counterintuitive—wisdom that teachers can't or don't improve much after their first few years on the job."

In the early 2000s, tracked teachers over time and linked their performance to their students' test scores. In this new study, researchers looked at some 200,000 student test scores linked to about 3,500 different teachers, an analyzed the data using three different methods.

"Under all three of the models studied, the researchers found teachers' ability to improve student achievement persister well beyond the three- to five- year mark," reported Education Week. "While teachers did make the most progress during their first few years in the classroom, teachers improved their ability to boost student test scores on average by 40 percent between their 10th and their 30th year on the job, the study shows."

Furthermore, "the studies also dovetail with a small but growing body of research suggesting that high-quality coaching and professional development can improve teacher effectiveness."

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By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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