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How teacher turnover harms student achievement

Matthew Ronfeldt, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff
Year of Publication: 
American Educational Research Journal

Researchers and policymakers often assume that teacher turnover harms student achievement, but recent evidence calls into question this assumption. Using a unique identification strategy that employs grade-level turnover and two classes of fixed-effects models, this study estimates the effects of teacher turnover on over 850,000 New York City 4th and 5th grade student observations over eight years. The results indicate that students in grade-levels with higher turnover score lower in both ELA and math and that this effect is particularly strong in schools with more low-performing and black students. Moreover, the results suggest that there is a disruptive effect of turnover beyond changing the distribution in teacher quality.

APA Citation

Ronfeldt, M., Loeb, S., Wyckoff, J. (2013). How teacher turnover harms student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 50(1), 4-36.

Media Mentions

August 27, 2013. The New York Times. At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice
April 23, 2012. The Huffington Post. We Need Experienced Teachers
March 26, 2012. The Daily Journal - San Mateo County. Partnership allows schools, business to grow ideas
March 26, 2012. Chicago Policy Review. Tenure or Turnover?