Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Most effective teachers get biggest raises–when they quit teaching

Matthew Chingos and Martin West followed Florida teachers who quit teaching (about 35,000 of them) and asked which teachers got the biggest raises in their new jobs. (“Do more effective teachers earn more outside of the classroom?”) Unsurprisingly, although perhaps depressingly, it’s the most effective teachers (as measured by student value-added scores) who get the biggest raises.

In this comprehensive Florida dataset, teachers who stayed in teaching were on average paid 1.2 percent more for each one standard deviation increase in student performance. Teachers who went into other industries were on average paid 7.5 percent more for the same increase in student performance.

So private industry appears to value the qualities that make an effective teacher more than schools value those qualities. Note also that since “effective” is being measured by student test scores, this finding provides a bit of external validation for the notion that student test scores really do tell us something about a teacher’s quality.

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