Do Better Student Teaching Placements Lead to Better Employment Outcomes? Evidence from a Random Assignment Experiment
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
But we know relatively little about whether better student teaching experiences lead to better employment outcomes. Motivated in part by the prior literature on the relationship between student teaching placements and in-service teaching effectiveness, a number of states are adopting new standards for mentor teachers in an attempt to change where student teaching occurs. Given that student teaching appears to play an important role in the job search process, these reforms may have consequences for the sorting of novice teachers to schools.
In this study, we use data from a random assignment experiment conducted with two educator preparation programs and approximately 500 teacher candidates to assess the relationship between the quality of student teaching placements and employment outcomes. During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, we ranked potential student teaching placement sites using a combination of teacher value-added, performance evaluations, and experience, and school value-added and staff turnover. We then created two lists of potential placement sites and randomly assigned candidates to more or less promising placement sites.
We consider two main research questions in this study: whether better placements increase overall employment outcomes and whether they affect the types of schools in which candidates find employment. We use two sources of data to assess these questions. First, using surveys about future work plans taken before and after the internship, we estimate the effect of assignment to a higher quality placement on reported employment plans or preferences for working in different types of schools. We then follow candidates into the workforce using data on public school employment during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years and estimate the effect of better placements on overall employment, as well as differences in demographic composition of the schools in which teachers work.