This article explores student mobility in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and its effects on student achievement. An urban district with plentiful opportunities for school choice, Milwaukee has a transient student population. From 2003-04 through 2007-08, 11% of MPS students switched schools or left the district between the fall and spring of a given school year, while 22% were mobile between the spring of one year and the fall of the following year.
Federal and State Education Policy
Despite claims that school districts need flexibility in teacher assignment to allocate teachers more equitably across schools and improve district performance, the power to involuntarily transfer teachers to different schools remains hotly contested in many districts because of the potential for teachers to be treated arbitrarily or unfairly. Little research has examined involuntary transfer policies or their effects on schools, teachers, or students.
Researchers have devoted substantial attention to the use of student test score data to measure teacher performance. In response to recent policy interest in using student achievement data to measure the contributions of school administrators as well, this paper investigates the capacity of longitudinal achievement data to uncover principal effects. Building on prior research, it develops multiple models for capturing the contributions of principals to student test score growth, examines the properties of each model, and compares the results of the models empirically.
A high-quality education is critical to the future well-being of a child—and thus also to the nation as a whole. By one estimate, a high school dropout in the United States will earn nearly a quarter of a million dollars less over his lifetime than a high school graduate who completes no further education. He will also contribute $60,000 less in tax revenues. Aggregated over a cohort of eighteen-year-olds who never complete high school, these losses add up to $200 billion.1 Moreover, gaps in the educational achievement of children by race and social class are large and persistent.
Over the past 20 years, alternative certification for teachers has emerged as a major avenue of teacher preparation. The proliferation of new pathways has spurred heated debate over how best to recruit, prepare, and support qualified teachers.
The research on teacher labor markets is quite large and expanding; yet, as in most areas of education research, our knowledge is full of holes and only gets us a little ways towards identifying productive policy directions. As such, there is plenty of room for new research – describing labor market dynamics, developing and substantiating theories about the mechanisms driving the trends and relationships observed, developing instruments for measurement, and evaluating programs. This paper begins by providing an overview of what we know about teacher labor markets in the United States.
Recruiting, evaluating and retaining teachers: The children first strategy to improve New York City's teachers
According to Chancellor Joel Klein, "No reform is more critical to closing the nation's shameful achievement gap than boosting the quality of teachers in high-poverty schools." Indeed, improving the quality of teachers has been a core strategy for school improvement in the New York City (NYC) reform effort. In the years prior to Children First, data suggest great variability in the quality of New York City's teachers.