Panel Paper: Getting Effective Educators in Schools Serving Disadvantaged Students

Friday, November 9, 2018
8212 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Andrew Morgan1, Minh Thac Nguyen1, Eric Hanushek2, Ben Ost1 and Steven Rivkin1, (1)University of Illinois, Chicago, (2)Stanford University

Ongoing struggles to attract and retain effective educators in schools serving disadvantaged children have challenged school districts, and concerns have been raised that the adoption of rigorous, high-stakes evaluation systems could amplify those difficulties if educators believed that it was more difficult to obtain a higher rating in disadvantaged schools. This paper investigates the effects of the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) reform that provides additional pay for educators in a designated group of the district’s lowest performing schools. The substantial stipends include a bonus for moving to the school and an increase in annual salary that varies by the rating earned in the prior year. In 2015, the district selected and placed effective school leaders in the school and attempted to fill the school with effective teachers. Roughly 75 percent of teachers were new to ACE schools in fall 2015. In addition to studying overall reform effects we will investigate the importance of various channels through which ACE potentially affected the distribution of educator effectiveness, educator turnover, teacher effectiveness, and achievement. These include responsiveness to the higher compensation, quality of the school leader in the cases of teacher turnover and improvement, and teacher peer effects. Essentially, this project studies the overall effects of the reform and then uses the variation in educator effectiveness created by the reform to investigate the importance of the underlying channels to learn more about the importance of specific determinants of both educator performance in disadvantaged schools and educator supply and retention. It addresses a number of issues including the potential effects on achievement of such comprehensive reform, whether and under what conditions it is more difficult to attain a higher rating in a disadvantaged school, and the importance of specific factors to educator retention.