Teacher quality has substantial and enduring effects on overall student achievement, and variation in access to high-quality teachers can exacerbate achievement gaps across students. High-quality teachers are vital for students’ academic success. Previous research from MAPLE has identified characteristics that were positively associated with teacher quality but not more likely to lead to a hiring request (e.g., undergraduate GPA and timing of an application). This descriptive analysis, led by Béla Figge and Tim Sass, seeks to better understand the distribution of teachers and applicants for teaching positions and potential policies to improve equitable access to effective teachers.
This research will provide descriptive evidence on the distribution of teacher quality as measured by observable characteristics, which could provide more insights on where disparities exist and where interventions like teacher retention bonuses and professional development may be most impactful. Additionally, it will provide information on the extent to which disparities in the distribution of teachers are driven by differences in the available set of candidates and the degree to which schools can select the best candidates to hire. The analysis will also provide a much richer look at the distribution of teacher quality and provide more reliable insights on the extent of disparities and potential policy levers.
- What is the distribution of teachers based on their observable characteristics (e.g., demographics, experience, educational attainment, licensure status)?
- What is the cross-school variation in access to teachers by race/ethnicity and gender?
- What is the composition of teacher applicants and recently-hired teachers?
- How do various measures of teacher performance vary across schools?