Panel Paper: Elementary Principals and Longer-Term Student Outcomes

Friday, November 9, 2018
Hoover - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jeffrey Schiman1, Steven Rivkin2, Lauren Sartain3 and Andrew Morgan2, (1)Georgia Southern University, (2)University of Illinois, Chicago, (3)University of Chicago

A growing body of evidence finds significant differences in principal quality as measured by effects on achievement, teacher survey responses, and supervisor ratings. However, little is known about how early exposure to a more effective principal relates to academic attainment and behavioral outcomes in high school and college. Research on teachers shows substantial effects on non-cognitive outcomes, and the same may hold for principals. In addition, studies on the relationship between early-education interventions and longer-term outcomes generally find that improved early environments have lasting effects into adulthood (e.g. Perry preschool program, Tennessee STAR class size experiment). Similarly, a more effective elementary principal may impart lasting effects on their students that persist into later grades.

We use administrative longitudinal data from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to estimate elementary-school principal value added to both achievement during elementary school and academic and behavioral outcomes in high school and college. In addition, we corroborate this analysis by comparing estimates of value added with teacher and student survey responses.

Preliminary estimates reveal substantial variation in the value added to elementary test scores and significant positive correlations between value added to elementary school achievement and principal effects on longer-term academic and social outcomes. Of particular interest is the significant positive association between value added to elementary school achievement and college entry and persistence.