Panel Paper: Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence From 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina

Thursday, November 7, 2013 : 11:30 AM
Plaza II (Ritz Carlton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kirabo Jackson, Northwestern University
This paper presents a model where students have cognitive and non-cognitive ability, and a teacher’s effect on long-run outcomes is a combination of her effects on both ability-types. Conditional on cognitive scores, an underlying non-cognitive factor associated with student absences, suspensions, grades, and grade progression, is strongly correlated with long-run educational attainment, arrests, and earnings in survey data. In administrative data, teachers have meaningful causal effects on both cognitive-scores and this non-cognitive factor. Calculations indicate that teacher effects based on test scores alone fail to identify many excellent teachers, and may greatly understate the importance of teachers for adult outcomes.

Full Paper: