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Effective Like Me? Does Having a More Productive Mentor Improve the Productivity of Mentees?
We use a novel database of the preservice apprenticeships (“student teaching placements”) of teachers in Washington State to investigate the relationship between mentor effectiveness (as measured by value added) and the future effectiveness of their mentees. We find a strong, positive relationship between the effectiveness of a teacher’s mentor and their own effectiveness in math and a more modest relationship in English Language Arts. The relationship in math is strongest early in a teacher’s career, decays significantly over time, and would be positive and statistically significant even in the presence of nonrandom sorting on unobservables of the same magnitude as the sorting on observables. Put together, this suggests that at least some of this relationship reflects a causal relationship between mentor effectiveness and the future effectiveness of their mentees in math.
This paper has been published in Labour Economics and can be found here, April 2020.
Citation: Dan Goldhaber, John Krieg, Roddy Theobald (2018). Effective Like Me? Does Having a More Productive Mentor Improve the Productivity of Mentees?. CALDER Working Paper No. 208-1118-1
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