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Reforming the Teaching Profession: A Look at Teacher Quality Policy

Jesse Rothstein, UC Berkeley
Sep 29, 2011 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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There is growing consensus that teacher quality is the key to educational improvement, and that the route to improved teacher quality involves holding teachers accountable for their measured performance.  Hence, the federal Department of Education, the states, and many school districts are rushing to develop numeric measures of teachers' contribution to student learning, as measured by performance on standardized tests.  But these so-called "value added" measures have important limitations: they are noisy, are in part determined by the composition of a class rather than the teacher's impact, and even the teacher effects that they measure may not correspond perfectly to the effectiveness that we want to encourage.  Rothstein will discuss these limitations and their implications for the design of teacher quality policy.

Jesse Rothstein is an associate professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley; a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and a member of the Board of Editors of the American Economic Review. He previously served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and as Senior Economist with the Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, both in the Obama Administration.  His research focuses on education policy and on the labor market. His recent work includes studies of the use of student test scores to evaluate teacher quality and of the effects of Unemployment Insurance during the Great Recession. He received a Ph.D. in economics and a Masters in Public Policy, both from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. from Harvard.

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