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This paper examines late career mobility and retirement decisions for a cohort of mid-career Missouri public school teachers. The rate of accrual of traditional defined benefit pension systems is highly nonlinear and back-loaded with most of the gain occurring in the final years prior to retirement. Also, these pension systems have rules that introduce kinks or discontinuities in the rate of accrual after 30 years. This paper explores the effect of these pension rules on retirement patterns. Missouri permits teachers to continue teaching part-time while collecting benefits. Teachers can also retire from one pension system and begin teaching in another. The paper examines both types of behavior.
Citation: Michael Podgursky, Mark Ehlert (2007). Teacher Pensions and Retirement Behavior: How Teacher Pension Rules Affect Behavior, Mobility, and Retirement. CALDER Working Paper No. 5
This study considers the efficacy of a certification system for teachers established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The authors utilize a four-year span of the longitudinal data from Florida to determine the relationship between teacher NBPTS certification and student test scores on low-stakes and high-stakes exams. They find evidence that NBPTS certification provides a positive signal of teacher productivity in some cases, but it is highly variable. The process of becoming NBPTS certified does not appear to increase teacher productivity nor do NBPTS-certified teachers appear to enhance the productivity of their colleagues.
Citation: Douglas Harris, Tim Sass (2007). The Effects of NBPTS-Certified Teachers on Student Achievement. CALDER Working Paper No. 4
Using longitudinal data from the state of Florida, this study examines the effects of various types of education and training on the ability of teachers to promote student achievement. It suggests that teacher training generally has little influence on productivity. One exception is that content-focused teacher professional development is positively associated with productivity in middle and high school math. In addition, more experienced teachers appear more effective in teaching elementary and middle school reading. There is no evidence that either pre-service (undergraduate) training or the scholastic aptitude of teachers influences their ability to increase student achievement.
Citation: Douglas Harris, Tim Sass (2007). Teacher Training, Teacher Quality and Student Achievement. CALDER Working Paper No. 3
In this paper, the authors use a ten-year span of longitudinal data from North Carolina to explore a range of questions related to the relationship between teacher characteristics and credentials, on the one hand, and student achievement on the other. They conclude that a teacher's experience, test scores and regular licensure all have positive effects on student achievement, with larger effects for math than for reading. Taken together the various teacher credentials exhibit quite large effects on math achievement, whether compared to the effects of changes in class size or to the socio-economics characteristics of students.
Citation: Charles Clotfelter, Helen Ladd, Jacob Vigdor (2007). How and Why Do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?. CALDER Working Paper No. 2
The central question for this study is how the quality of the teachers and principals in high poverty schools in North Carolina compares to that in the schools serving more advantaged students. A related question is why these differences emerge. The consistency of the patterns across many measures of qualifications for both teachers and principals leaves no doubt that students in the high poverty schools are served by school personnel with lower qualifications than those in the lower poverty schools. Moreover, in many cases the differences are large. Additional evidence documents that the differences largely reflect predictable outcomes of the labor market for teachers and principals.
Citation: Charles Clotfelter, Helen Ladd, Jacob Vigdor, Justin Wheeler (2007). High Poverty Schools and the Distribution of Teachers and Principals. CALDER Working Paper No. 1