For example, an increase in mean salary without any change in variance wouldreduce the number of accountability-induced exits from teaching. Whether theeffect of this policy change would be stronger for more-effective teachers is uncertain. However, the higher salary-induced increases to the well-being of teacherswill clearly be infra-marginal for many whose well-being as a teacher far exceedstheir well-being in an alternative field, and thus it is a costly way to reduce turnover.Moreover, shifts up in salary scales will not alter the distributional impacts of NCLBfavoring nontested grades and schools with higher-achieving students.Raising both the mean and the variance of teachers' salary increases wouldtend to raise the desirability of teaching for some teachers and reduce it for others.The net outcome depends on the details of how such a system is implemented. IfThis content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Thu, 04 Apr 2019 04:05:08 UTCAll use subject to
148 Journal of Economic Perspectivesteachers are rated based on school performance, for example, such an increasein variance linked to school ratings could amplify incentives to move to a highachieving school. Educational outcomes are affected by many inputs that a teachercannot control, which means that higher variance could increase the salary risk ofteaching in a way that might tend to increase exits out of teaching.Finally, a shift away from school "pass rates" and toward teacher or schoolcontributions to achievement gains provides an appealing alternative that isgarnering widespread support. A value-added-based measure of student growthcan dampen the advantages that teaching in a high-achievement school offers interms of procuring a high accountability rating. If an improved measurement ofperformance were combined with an appropriate structure of pay, it could ameliorate, if not reverse, the labor market disadvantages experienced by schools servingdisadvantaged students.This paper benefited from helpful comments and suggestions by David Autor, Brian Jacob,Chad Jones, John List, and Timothy Taylor. Greg Branch and Oksana Zhuk providedexcellent research assistance.ReferencesAaronson, Daniel, Lisa Barrow, and WilliamSander. 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools."/oMrn?/of Labor Economics, 25(1): 95-135.Armor, David J., Patricia Conry-Oseguera,Millicent Cox, Niceima King, Lorraine McDonnell, Anthony Pascal, Edward Pauly, and GailZellman. 1976. Analysis of the School PreferredReading Program in Selected Los Angeles MinoritySchools. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corp.Bacolod, Marigee P. 2007. "Do AlternativeOpportunities Matter? The Role of Female LaborMarkets in the Decline of Teacher Quality." Reviewof Economics and Statistics 89(4): 737-51.
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