By Dale Ballou

E-book by way of Ballou, Dale, Podgursky, Michael John

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This problem does not entirely disappear, of course, at higher levels of aggregation, since high-wage states can recruit teachers away from states with lower levels of pay. However, the evidence on teachers' interstate mobility presented below suggests that using the state as the unit of analysis substantially reduces this bias. And at the national level, no such problem arises. We therefore focus on the relationship between teacher salaries and quality at the state and national levels, beginning with national trends.

In the first place, the notion that brighter individuals make better teachers is inherently plausible.  .  . We are describing people of substantial intellectual accomplishment" (Carnegie Forum for Education and the Economy 1986, p. 25) The research literature also lends support to the proposition that instructors with stronger academic backgrounds are, other things being equal, more effective teachers. Analyzing data on reading achievement of elementary school students in southern California, Winkler (1975) found a positive association between test score gains and the "prestigiousness" of the teacher's undergraduate college.

Other research with access to teacher test scores has confirmed the importance of teachers' verbal ability. Several of these studies analyzed data collected by the Office of Equality of Educational Opportunity (OEEO) in the mid-1960s, made famous by the Coleman Report (Coleman et al. 1966): Hanushek (1970); Bowles and Levin (1968); and most recently, Ehrenberg and Brewer (1993). Hanushek (1971) investigated the relationship between the achievement of California third graders and the characteristics of their second and third grade teachers, including experience, hours of graduate education, and scores on a test of verbal ability with more discriminating power than the OEEO exam.

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