New study examines “the economic value of higher teacher quality” reports:

Forget the cliche of bringing an apple to your favorite teacher. You may want to send her your next bonus check instead — because she’s a big part of why you got it.

That’s the gist of a recent report by the Cambridge, Mass.-based National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that attempted to measure the economic value of effective teachers compared to their less effective counterparts.

The study found that during the course of a school year, a student may learn as much as three times more material from a top-performing teacher as a similar student does from a bottom-performing teacher. And that extra learning translates to the bottom line once the student leaves school.

In fact, in one year, a well-above-average teacher — in this case, one that’s in the 84th percentile of effectiveness — may lead to as much as $400,000 in additional lifetime earnings for her class of 20 compared to an average teacher, the NBER study said.

The study is available here.


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