Mathematician devises a means for tying impact of teaching quality to pupil's future earnings

October 8, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Credit: Anna Frodesiak/Wikipedia

( —Harvard economist and mathematician Gary Chamberlain has devised a means to tie a student's future earnings with the quality of teaching they had in middle and grade school. In his paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Chamberlain describes a study he undertook that he says shows that the quality of a teacher a child has can have an impact not only on his or her test scores, but earnings up to a decade later.

Prior work by Chamberlain and others has found a link between the quality of a teacher and test scores by that teacher's students even after they have moved on to other . In this latest effort, he looked to take the idea even further, to see if having a good teacher can mean increased earnings as an adult.

To find out, Chamberlain obtained student data from over 800 schools in the United States, spanning the years 1988 to 2009 for grades four through eight. The data included information regarding teacher/student assignments and test scores. For those that had graduated, he obtained data that told him which of the students attended college. For some, he even managed to obtain pay rates later on in life. Crunching all the data allowed him to gain a new perspective on achievements of students based on the quality of teacher they had during their formative years.

Chamberlain reports that he found that simply having certain teachers led to a greater chance of attending college for some students, and because of that, they had higher earnings later in life. More specifically, he found higher test scores resulted in a greater likelihood of going to college by just a quarter of one percent. But having a "high quality" teacher, he says, regardless of , bumped that percentage up to one percent. He also found that one percent of who had certain distinguished teachers had higher on average than other teachers.

All in all, Chamberlain says, the data shows that having a high quality teacher means more kids going to and more of them earning more money later on in life. He adds that science is still working on figuring out what exactly constitutes a good teacher, but suggests research efforts such as his are helping to get closer.

Explore further: Teacher influence persists in early grades

More information: Predictive effects of teachers and schools on test scores, college attendance, and earnings, PNAS, Published online before print October 7, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1315746110

I studied predictive effects of teachers and schools on test scores in fourth through eighth grade and outcomes later in life such as college attendance and earnings. For example, predict the fraction of a classroom attending college at age 20 given the test score for a different classroom in the same school with the same teacher and given the test score for a classroom in the same school with a different teacher. I would like to have predictive effects that condition on averages over many classrooms, with and without the same teacher. I set up a factor model that, under certain assumptions, makes this feasible. Administrative school district data in combination with tax data were used to calculate estimates and do inference.

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1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 08, 2013
A textbook example of nebulous methodology conning the gullible simply because the swindler pushing the con has letters after their name.
Note the emphasis on ideas like "quality teacher". Among other things, Chamberlain doesn't even mention what criterion he uses to define "quality". In fact, as the article describes, only having "certain teachers" is claimed to result in better outcomes i9n life. Those "certain" teachers can be having sex with everyone in the hierarchy from administrators up to the principal and are being allowed to give good grades to failing students. More than that, since Chamberlain is providing the fact which many "rank and file" have known and been mocked by those in power for saying, better grades had almost no effect on better earnings, the "research" seems to be indicating that these "certain" teachers are incorporating evidently pliable students into an "inner circle" of those who get better jobs despite knowing nothing!
1 / 5 (10) Oct 08, 2013
DUH, this is so obvious that a research study being needed is ridiculous....hence the DUH.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2013
This is bad news for America, with American intelligence now ranked below the human average and falling as American Capitalism continues the cattleization of the American people.

US adults are dumber than the average human

As VendiTard shows, there is stupid, and then there is American Stupid.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2013
example of nebulous methodogy
Well your post is an example of your nebulous methodology of evaluating a complex and lengthy study by only reading the physorg article as if it were the entire paper.

But then you read (parts of) one holy book and think this makes you qualified to tell scientists how the universe functions; so this is really no surprise.
what criterion he uses
So what criterion did you use to conclude that that sort of info should be in a press release? Did you think to check the link Julia?

Hey perhaps there is a way to tie teacher earnings to the quality of education they give. That would be a worthwhile study.
Americans... ranked... below cattle
I would take any American high school kid over any canuck on ghost recon. Pretty much. Do they have high school in Canada?

Within a gen we won't need educating anyway as we will have our own personal AI which will do our thinking for us.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 13, 2013
The myth of the "bad teacher" is driving the corporate takeover of our school system. "A Nation at Risk" was a political lie designed to open public education to the free market. Charter schools perform equal to or worse than public schools with similar students. Voucher systems have failed. Merit pay is worthless. The largest predictor of student success is the student's socioeconomic status in childhood and education level of his/her parents.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2013
zaxxon is correct on every point.

The failure of American education is not a failure of American Schools or American Teachers. The failure is a result of the ongoing failure of American Society resulting from American Capitalism.

Capitalism has destroyed the American family and with it the primary means of socializing and educating children.

Those tasks are now left to Corporate Advertisers and the street.

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