A Note on the Effectiveness of Teacher Experience.

by Emmett B. Keeler, John McCall

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Does teacher experience affect student achievement or does a school's average reading ability determine the faculty's average level of experience? In other words, do teachers tend to move to schools attended by superior test takers? To establish the relationship between reading ability and teacher turnover, the authors develop a simultaneous equation model based on recent data from the San Diego School District. A two-stage least squares estimation procedure is employed, modified by the introduction of three exogenous variables: percent of students from poor backgrounds, sex of teacher, and teaching experience in San Diego. Reading ability is shown to be strongly and negatively related to student social class, and teacher turnover is negatively related to reading ability of schools. The major reason for the experience-achievement relationship is the ability of experienced teachers to get into schools having high achievers. Similar analyses will be performed for Michigan to determine if the phenomenon holds across school districts. 6 pp.

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