Learning to Teach? Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement
Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement: This research project describes the recent changes in the routes into teaching in New York City. It assesses the effects of these changes on the distribution of teachers across schools and the academic achievement of students. It then looks more closely at the preparation of teachers in the district and estimates the effects of characteristics of this preparation on teachers' value-added to student achievement in their first two years of teaching. The study finds that the introduction of early-entry alternative routes in New York City dramatically changed the distribution of teachers across schools and likely improved the test performance of students in schools that had traditionally been difficult to staff . It finds that some preparation programs are more effective than others in producing teachers that add to student achievement. In particular, teachers who had the opportunity in their pre-service preparation to practice skills that are closely linked to the day-to-day work of teachers appear to be more effective in their first year of teaching.
Susanna Loeb is an associate professor of education at Stanford University and director of the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice. She also co-directs Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an organization that aims to link academic research more closely to the policy needs at the state level. Susanna specializes in the economics of education policy, studying the relationship between schools and federal, state and local policies. Her research focuses particularly on teacher labor markets, looking at how teachers' preferences and teacher preparation policies affect the quality of teachers and the distribution of teachers across schools. She also studies school finance and how the structure of state finance systems affects the level and distribution of funds to districts. As part of this research, Susanna has been the director of the Getting Down to Facts project, a comprehensive study of school finance and governance in California. Susanna is a member of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, an associate professor of business at Stanford and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.