*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Identification Strategies. NCLB held schools accountable for the performance of subgroups only if the numbers of students in a subgroup exceeded a minimum subgroup size, which was determined by each individual state. This study uses a difference-in-differences strategy to compare—in both the pre- and post-NCLB periods—teacher turnover and retention in schools that were held accountable or not held accountable for various student subgroups. Analyses utilize either state fixed effects or school-by-time-period fixed effects to control for time-invariant state and school characteristics, respectively. Additional analyses utilize a regression discontinuity (RD) design to compare teacher turnover and retention in schools whose numbers of subgroup students fell within a narrow range on either side of their states’ minimum subgroup size cutoffs.
Data. This study uses nationwide data from the Schools and Staffing Survey and the accompanying Teacher Follow-up Survey from the periods both before and after the nationwide implementation of NCLB (1999-2001 and 2003-05, respectively). This data is matched with school-level data from the Barnard/Columbia NCLB Database (Reback, Rockoff, Schwartz, & Davidson, 2011), which provides information on the subgroups for which schools nationwide were held accountable during the first two years of NCLB. The Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey provides schools’ numbers of subgroup students in tested grades, which serve as the running variables for the RD analyses.
Preliminary Results. NCLB’s subgroup-specific accountability significantly decreased one-year teacher turnover, but did not affect one-year teacher retention. Difference-in-difference estimates show that the effect of a school being held accountable for one additional subgroup was an additional decrease of .6% in one-year teacher turnover in the post-NCLB period (p=0.04). For Black and Hispanic teachers, teaching in a school held accountable for the same-race subgroup had a particularly strong effect, decreasing one-year turnover by 6% (p=0.09). Limiting the comparison to schools in narrow bandwidths on either side of states’ minimum subgroup size cutoffs, as well as adding school-by-time-period fixed effects, increases the magnitude of these estimates, although their precision varies. However, the relatively consistent magnitude of these effects suggests that subgroup-specific accountability had particularly strong negative effects on the turnover of minority teachers.