Do teachers matter? Measuring the variation in teacher effectiveness in England
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Helen Slater, Dr Neil M. Davies and Professor Simon Burgess

Teacher quality is widely held to be important for pupil education and learning. This research finds that teachers matter a great deal: in statistical terms having a one-standard deviation point better teacher raises test scores by (at least) 25%.

The researchers utilise a unique primary dataset for the UK, to estimate the effect of individual teachers on pupil outcomes, and the variability in teacher quality. This links 7,305 pupils to the individual teachers who taught them in each of their compulsory subjects in their GCSE exams.

They found considerable variability in teacher effectiveness, a little higher than the estimates found in US studies. This also corroborates recent findings that observed teachers’ characteristics offer very little explanation for the differences in estimated teacher effectiveness.

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Helen Slater, Dr Neil M. Davies and Professor Simon Burgess

Published by:
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics

Date of publication:
October 2012

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Examining the effects of teacher quality on pupil attainment, this research paper looks at variability in teacher effectiveness, and the impact of good and poor teachers on pupil performance.  

Quantitative data analysis.


Record ID:
R293 / 397
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