The narrowing gap in New York city teacher qualifications and its implications for student achievement in high-poverty schools

Author/s: 

Donald Boyd

,

Hamilton Lankford

,

Susanna Loeb

,

James Wyckoff

Year of Publication: 
2008
Publication: 
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

Studies have found substantial sorting of teachers across schools, with the schools with the highest proportions of poor, non-white, and low-scoring students having the least qualified teachers as measured by certification, exam performance, and inexperience (Lankford, Loeb and Wyckoff, 2002). Yet, there have been substantial changes in the educational policy landscape over the past five years. New laws, including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), have changed requirements for teachers. Assessment-based accountability policies at the state-level have created standards and increased oversight of schools, especially those with low-achieving students. New routes into teaching, many with fewer requirements before teaching, have changed the cost for individuals to enter the teaching profession. These changes have affected teacher labor markets profoundly. In this paper the authors examine these changes, asking how the distribution of teachers has changed in recent years and what the implications of these changes are for students. They examine three questions: (1) How has the distribution of teaching qualifications between schools with concentrations of poor students and those with more affluent students changed over the last five years?; (2) What effects are the changes in observed teacher qualifications likely to have on student achievement?; and (3) What implications do these findings have for improving policies and programs aimed at recruiting highly effective teachers? This study uses data on New York City teachers, students, and schools to address these questions. The authors find that measurable characteristics of teachers are more equal across schools in 2005 than they were in 2000.

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APA Citation

Boyd, D., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2008). The narrowing gap in New York city teacher qualifications and its implications for student achievement in high-poverty schools. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.