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What Do Test Scores Miss? The Importance of Teacher Effects on Non-Test Score Outcomes (WP-16-03)

C. Kirabo Jackson

This paper extends the traditional test-score value-added model of teacher quality to allow for the possibility that teachers affect a variety of student outcomes through their effects on both students’ cognitive and noncognitive skill. Results show that teachers have effects on skills not measured by test-scores, but reflected in absences, suspensions, course grades, and on-time grade progression. Teacher effects on these non-test score outcomes in 9th grade predict effects on high-school completion and predictors of college-going—above and beyond their effects on test scores. Relative to using only test-score measures of teacher quality, including both test-score and non-test score measures more than doubles the predictable variability of teacher effects on these longer-run outcomes.

C. Kirabo Jackson, Associate Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and IPR Faculty Fellow, Northwestern University

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