Working Papers, Policy Briefs & Reports

The Impact of Principal Attrition and Replacement on Indicators of School Quality

Authors: Marcus A. Winters, Brian Kisida, & Ikhee Cho   Project Summary This study explores whether principal transitions are inherently disruptive or if the impact of changing principals depends on the context surrounding the outgoing or incoming principal—namely, whether the new principal was hired externally or promoted from within a school. Key Findings We find that transitions to both internal and external hires negatively impact student performance. Externally hired principals also...

A Classroom Observer Like Me: The Effects of Race-congruence and Gender-congruence Between Teachers and Raters on Observation Scores

Author: Olivia Chi  Project Summary To further understand the challenges of diversifying the teacher pipeline, Olivia Chi examines how race and gender dynamics influence administrators’ subjective assessments of teachers in the context of classroom observations. Specifically, Chi asks whether teachers receive higher classroom observation scores as a result of sharing race or gender with their observers, who are typically school-based administrators. On a broad scale, if teachers benefit from...

Inequality in Household Adaptation to Schooling Shocks: COVID-19 Induced Online Learning Engagement in Real Time

Authors: Andrew Backer-Hicks, Joshua Goodman, & Christine Mulhern Project Summary In March of 2020, COVID-19 disrupted in-person education, causing both students and staff to abruptly switch to online learning models. The shift to virtual learning caused students to become reliant on technology, which raised equity concerns for lower income students who may not have access to a computer, high-speed internet, or parents with the time and training to oversee their learning. Andrew...

Oh Brother, Where Start Thou? Sibling Spillovers on College and Major Choice in Four Countries

Authors: Adam Altmejd, Andres Barrios Fernandez, Marin Drlje, Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz, Dejan Kovac, Christine Mulhern, Christopher Neilson, & Jonathan Smith  Project Summary A group of international collaborators, including Adam Altmejd, Andres Barrios-Fernandez, Marin Drlje, Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz, Dejan Kovac, Christine Mulhern, Christopher Neilson, and Jonathan Smith, worked to identify the causal effect of one particular social connection: an older sibling who attends...

Professional Development at Scale: The Causal Effect of Obtaining an SEI Endorsement Under Massachusetts’s RETELL Initiative

Authors: Jesse Bruhn, Nathan Jones, Yasuko Kanno, & Marcus A. Winters This project was funded by a generous grant from the William T. Grant Foundation.  Project Summary English learners (ELs) are among the most rapidly-growing and lowest-performing student groups in American public schools. Lack of access to teachers who have been trained to serve their specific needs is one potential explanation for ELs’ unequal educational outcomes relative to non-EL students. Jesse Bruhn, Nathan Jones,...

Regulatory Arbitrage in Teacher Hiring and Retention

Authors: Jesse M. Bruhn, Scott A. Imberman, & Marcus A. Winters Project Summary Charter schools typically have greater flexibility in their employment practices than do traditional public schools. However, it is not clear the extent to which charter schools capitalize on this comparative labor market flexibility to remove low value-added teachers or better retain high value-added teachers. Jesse Bruhn, Scott Imberman, and Marcus Winters use longitudinal administrative data from...

Are Two Teachers Better than One? The Effect of Co-Teaching on Students with and without Disabilities

Authors: Nathan Jones & Marcus A. Winters Project SummaryCo-teaching has become a common strategy for educating students with disabilities in inclusive environments. It involves a general education teacher and a special education teacher working together to teach students with and without dis­abilities in a single classroom. Co-teaching is meant to give students with disabilities access to both the general education curriculum and the specially designed instruc­tion outlined in their...