reports authors write, “We conclude that good teachers create substantial economic value and that testscore impacts are helpful in identifying good teachers.”
Students Learn More From Good Teachers
Among the theories the report’s authors set out to test was the question of whether teachers whosestudents score well on tests genuinely improve student outcomes, or are simply better at teaching to thetest. In addition to finding that effective teachers produced a variety of positive life outcomes and drovestudent success, they also found that the gains from effective teachers stayed with students well into thestudent’s future. While gains from the initial year do fade out over time, the report indicates that theystabilize at about 1/3
of the original impact after three years, showing that a solid amount of theachievement gains persist. The charts below (taken from a presentation compiled by the study’s authors
)show the lagged impact, as well as a clearly correlated increase in college attendance rates for studentswith highly rated teachers, just one example of the improved educational outcomes that highly ratedteachers impart.
These Models Effectively Differentiate, Identifying Teachers Who Are Great, and Those WhoAren’t
The study finds that a teacher’s value-added scores are clearly predictive of the success they have inteaching students, and therefore the success the students themselves will achieve, in their scores onassessments and in other indicators outside of and after they complete school. As the study’s authorswrite, “the findings in this paper and prior work are sufficient to conclude that standard estimates of teacher [value-added] can provide accurate forecasts of teacher’s average impacts on student’s testscores.” They also note that “good teachers create substantial economic value and that test score impactsare helpful in identifying such teachers.” Thanks to the scope of the study, the potential for variance dueto differences among the students in different classrooms that some critics point to appears to be minimal.As the New York Times puts it, "the researchers found that some [teachers] consistently outperformedtheir peers," regardless of the classroom they were leading. The charts below (also taken from the studypresentation) illustrate this value clearly. The first shows the effect of entry of a high value-added teacheron their students’ performance, with clear gains being demonstrated immediately. The second shows theharmful effects of entry of a low value-added teacher, also realized immediately. In both cases, thisevidence of change in student learning outcomes – whether they improve or decline – is stark, and closelytied to the effectiveness of the teacher.
0 0 . 2 0 . 4 0 . 6 0 . 8 1
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4
I m p a c t o f C u r r e n t T e a c h e r V A o n T e s t S c o r e
Impacts of Teacher Value-Added on Lagged, Current, and Future Test Scores
P e r c e n t i n C o l l e g e a t A g e 2 0
37%37.5%38%38.5%-0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2
= 4.92%(0.65)1 SD of TVA
1 SD TVA = 0.49%
College Attendance at Age 20 vs. Teacher Value-Added