Research examining the behavior of teachers and administrators with the goal of developing policies to
attract and retain high-quality teachers and leaders, especially in low-performing schools
 Teacher Preparation Minimize

Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 31, no. 4, pages 416-440, December 2009.  Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff.   

There are fierce debates over the best way to prepare teachers to improve outcomes for the students they teach.  Some argue that easing entry into teaching is necessary to attract strong candidates.  Others argue that investing in high quality teacher preparation will better serve our nation's children.  Even among those who believe that high quality preparation is important, there are sharp contrasts concerning the best approach.  Most agree, however, that we lack a strong research basis for understanding how to prepare teachers to meet the challenges of urban schools.  This study is a first step towards developing evidence to inform these debates, looking carefully at the ways in which teachers are prepared and the consequences of that preparation for pupil learning.  The research employs detailed data on New York City teachers, their preparation and the student achievement outcomes of their students.  Journal Article

The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring:  Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools.  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 30, no. 1, pages 88–110, 2011.  Donald Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Mathew Ronfeldt, and James Wyckoff.  

Many large urban school districts are rethinking their personnel management strategies, often giving increased control to schools in the hiring of teachers, reducing, for example, the importance of seniority. Prior research on teacher transfers uses career history data, identifying the school in which a teacher teaches in each year.  Based on this data, it is unclear the extent to which the patterns are driven by teacher preferences or school preferences, since the matching of teachers to schools is a two-sided choice. In this paper we use applications-to-transfer data to examine separately which teachers apply for transfer and which get hired and, in so doing, differentiate teacher from employer preferences. We find that teachers with better pre-service qualifications (certification exam scores; college competitiveness) are more likely to apply for transfer, while teachers whose students demonstrate higher achievement growth are less likely. On the other hand, schools prefer to hire “higher quality” teachers across measures that signal quality. The results suggest not only that more effective teachers prefer to stay in their school, but that when given the opportunity schools are able to identify and hire the best candidates.  Journal Article, Research Paper

Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, How Do Math Immersion Teachers Compare?:  Evidence from New York City.  September 2009.  Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Karen Hammerness, R. Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Mathew Ronfeldt, and James Wyckoff.

School districts employ a variety of strategies to recruit effective math teachers.  Some of these strategies include attempts to expand the pool of prospective teachers by recruiting teachers through alternative-route certification programs.  Even with the creation of an alternative certification route, New York City finds it difficult to recruit sufficient numbers of teachers with substantial math coursework or a math undergraduate major.  As a result, the New York City Teaching Fellows program was among the first to employ a math immersion component in the recruitment of math teachers.  Math Immersion is the single largest pathway for math teachers in New York City, yet little is known about the preparation its teachers receive or their relative effectiveness in improving student math achievement. This paper explores these questions.Research Paper

Surveying the Landscape of Teacher Education in New York City: Constrained Variation and the Challenge of Innovation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 30, no. 4, pages 319-343, December 2008.  Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Karen Hammerness, R. Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Morva McDonald, Michelle Reininger, Mathew Ronfeldt, and James Wyckoff.

Teacher preparation is receiving increased scrutiny and criticism. However, there is suprising little information about how teachers are prepared for their careers. In this article, we describe the state of teacher education across many preparation programs serving New York City public schools. We explore the characteristics of programs that prepare teachers for New York City schools, inclusing the orientation of programs, who enters these programs, who teaches in the programs, and what characterizes the core curriculum. Perhaps of greatest interest, we examine the variation across preparation programs. Counter to the belief that programs vary widely, we find the overall curriculum of teacher education to be more similar than different. We conclude with recommendations for what it might take to change the landscape of teacher education. Journal Article, Research Paper

How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement.  Education Finance and Policy, Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 2006. Donald Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, Pamela Grossman, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff. 

We are in the midst of what amounts to a national experiment in how best to attract, prepare, and retain teachers, particularly for high poverty urban schools. Using data on New York City students and their teachers in grades three through eight we assess the effects of pathways into teaching on the teacher workforce and student achievement. We consider wheter teachers entering through alternative certification routes alter the attributes of the teacher workdforce, how the achievement gains of the students of alternative route teachers compare to those of other teachers, and the relative retention of teachers across pathways.  Research Paper, Policy Brief.


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