RAND researchers examined the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement by analyzing five years of math and reading standards tests and other records from students in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
The RAND researchers then compared these data with teacher-specific information, such as LAUSD teacher licensure test scores for new teachers and other measures traditionally assumed to indicate teacher effectiveness, such as degrees obtained and years of experience.
There is little evidence to suggest that the teachers who can increase student achievement are concentrated in a few high-performing schools.
teachers who were effective at raising achievement were in fact evenly distributed across schools in LAUSD
Traditional teacher qualifications have little influence on classroom achievement
they found that a five-year increase in teaching experience affected student achievement very little — less than 1 percentage point. Similarly, the level of education held by a teacher proved to have no effect on student achievement in the classroom
Student achievement is unaffected by teacher licensure scores
The study offers several policy implications. First, while it is evident that some teachers are much more effective than others in improving student academic achievement, the study’s findings suggest that traditional measures of teacher quality do not predict classroom performance
Second, it might be promising to reward teachers for their performance rather than for qualifications that are not associated with their ability to improve student achievement.
The traditional compensation system might provide too little incentive for the more effective teachers to deliver their best performance, and it provides incentives for further education that does not appear to contribute to student performance
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