Teaching Profession

Study: Value-Added Has Real Value for Students

By Anthony Rebora — January 13, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An eye-catching new statistical analysis by economists at Harvard and Columbia universities finds that having a high-quality teacher for even one year can have a measurable long-term impact on students’ career outcomes.

The study tracked one million children from a large urban school district from 4th grade to adulthood. The researchers gauged the effectiveness of their teachers in grades 4 through 8 through value-added analysis, calculating their impact on student standardized test scores over time, with adjustments made for differences in student characteristics.

The study is reportedly the most extensive examination to date of the effectiveness of value-added rankings of teachers.

The researchers found that students who were assigned teachers with higher value-added ratings ended up being “more successful in many dimensions,” including college graduation rates, earnings, and savings.

On average, the study concludes, having a teacher with a high value-added rating for one year raises a student’s lifetime income by $50,000. Replacing a teacher who has a low value-added rating with a teacher of just average quality, according to the study data, could mean earnings gains of as much as $52,000 per student—or more than $1.4 million for the class as a whole. The teachers’ impact on earnings were similar whether the students were from high- or low-income families.

The researchers also found that, when a teacher with a high-value score joins a school, tests scores immediately go up in that teacher’s grade and subject.

The findings, according to the study’s authors, show that “great teachers create great value and that test score impacts are helpful in identifying such teachers.” However, they also cautioned that use of value-added ratings in teacher evaluations could “induce counterproductive responses … such as teaching to the test or cheating.”

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.
School & District Management Webinar Fostering Student Well-Being with Programs That Work
Protecting student well-being has never been more important. Join this webinar to learn how to ensure your programs yield the best outcomes.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession With New Grants, Teachers' Union Doubles Down on Partnerships With Parents
The American Federation of Teachers will invest $1.5 million in parent outreach—a counterweight to conservatives' parents'-rights narrative.
4 min read
Illustration of airplanes dropping money
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion 25 Reasons to Get Excited About Teaching
Let’s focus on the opportunities that teaching brings every single day to the classroom.
Louie F. Rodriguez
3 min read
illustration of a teacher watering a plant that is growing with students on it.
Nataliia Nesterenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession What the Research Says The Big Connection Between Teachers' Burnout and Their Principals
Less-demanding principals make for less-stressed teachers, a new study suggests.
3 min read
Image of two adults planning in a school classroom.
E+
Teaching Profession What Teachers of Color Say Will Actually Work to Diversify the Profession
In a new survey, teachers of color pick the most effective recruitment and retention strategies.
6 min read
Image of a teacher in front of a high school classroom.
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty