Tag Archives: Matthew Chingos

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.

Online education

Matthew Chingos and Guido Schwerdt offer us what may be the first really good evidence on large-scale, online courses in secondary schools. Students in Florida complete about half a million classes a year online. Nearly all the students taking online … Continue reading

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  1. sjl says:

    This is really unconvincing. The positive selection into these classes is massive–a third of a standard deviation in test scores after controlling for student characteristics. Adding in two test scores makes the FLVS effect fall to one-fifth of that. I find positive selection on unobservables a much more convincing explanation than a real effect of FLVS.

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NYC vouchers and poverty vs school quality

Mathew Chingos and Paul Peterson have a nice piece “The Impact of School Vouchers on College Enrollment” in Education Next where they look at the effects (in terms of later college attendance) of providing modest size vouchers to poor kids in New … Continue reading

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Summing up what we know about class size

Class Size and Student Outcomes, by Matthew Chingos, sums up what we have learned about the importance of class size. Lesson 1: Parents, teachers, and the public at large are all convinced that small classes are wonderful and are prepared … Continue reading

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Vouchers for little kids, college later?

Vouchers are a perennial hot topic. My personal view is that the heat-to-light ratio is unfortunately high. Conservatives believe that choice is a magic wand; liberals believe that anything that might divert money from public schools is an evil conspiracy. … Continue reading

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  1. Stuart Buck says:

    It was an intent-to-treat analysis. Winning the voucher automatically includes all of the kids who used it, as well as those who didn’t. So that makes it harder to see as much effect from the voucher, because you’re not letting kids who select out of treatment escape being counted in the analysis.

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Class size redux

Voters and politicians love class size reduction. This love affair persists in the face all evidence that class size reduction is not a sensible reform. It’s not hard to ballpark the costs of smaller classes. You need more teachers, more … Continue reading

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  1. Jesse Rothstein says:

    I must say, I find this study pretty unconvincing as an evaluation of whether class size reduction is “worth it” (which, for what it is worth, isn’t at all the way the author describes it). He’s pretty explicit that he’s comparing schools/districts that were given additional resources and forced to reduce class size with others that _were given the same extra resources_ but were already compliant with the class size mandate so were free to use the resources however they want. So if the former group didn’t improve relative to the latter group, that just means that districts given freedom to use resources as they see fit find uses that are as productive as is class size reduction — it doesn’t at all mean that class size reduction doesn’t work.

    Moreover, the results are pretty imprecise. Even with a bit of cherry picking, in his district-level analysis (which I find the most credible) he is only just able to reject the magnitude of effects that were estimated from STAR, and that only in reading and not in math. And of course STAR compared class size reduction to a control condition _without_ extra resources, so one would expect the effects to be the same only if districts given unrestricted funds totally fail to use them productively.

    Finally, I have my doubts about the control groups. Roughly, his “treatment” group is South Florida, and his “control” group is northern Florida and the panhandle. These are not exactly comparable places. It looks as if in the pre-policy period the treatment group was paying much higher salaries and making up for it with larger classes. I’m not sure I’d expect either that the trends should have been the same in the two groups or that the marginal productivity of extra revenue is the same in the two places.

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One picture in need of 1,000 words

You may have seen this picture and you might be seeing more of it in the future. Sure makes it look like curricular reform might be the silver bullet of education reform. Sure would be easier than improving teacher quality. But that’s not … Continue reading

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What training characteristics make for a good teacher? Who knows–again!

Matthew Chingos and Paul Peterson looked through a massive data set of Florida teachers, linking up the value-added scores of each teacher’s students with the teacher’s training and experience. (“It’s easier to pick a good teacher than to train one.”) … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Effective teachers: How do schools deploy them?

In “Promotion and Reassignment in Public School Districts: How Do Schools Respond to Differences in Teacher Effectiveness?” Matthew Chingos and Martin West compared Florida teachers with top quartile value added scores to those at the bottom and asked how their … Continue reading

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Class size summary

Here’s a quote from Russ Whitehurst and Matthew Chingos that I just love. The tradeoff between class size and teacher salaries needs to be very carefully considered.  …With fixed or reduced state budgets to support K-12 education, maintaining class-size limits … Continue reading

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