Can a teacher be fired for dating a parent
[Epistemic status: This is really complicated, this is not my field, people who have spent their entire lives studying this subject have different opinions, and I don’t claim to have done more than a very superficial survey.I welcome corrections on the many inevitable errors.] I.Newspapers report that having a better teacher for even a single grade (for example, a better fourth-grade teacher) can improve a child’s lifetime earning prospects by ,000.Meanwhile, behavioral genetics studies suggest that a child’s parents have minimal (non-genetic) impact on their future earnings.So one year with your fourth-grade teacher making you learn fractions has vast effects on your prospects, but twenty-odd years with your parents shaping you at every moment doesn’t? I decided to try to figure this out by looking into the research on teacher effectiveness more closely.First, how much do teachers matter compared to other things?To find out, researchers take a district full of kids with varying standardized test scores and try to figure out how much of the variance can be predicted by what school the kids are in, what teacher’s class the kids are in, and other demographic factors about the kids.
Here are the results from three teams that tried this (source, source, source): These differ a little in that the first one assumes away all noise (“unexplained variance”) and the latter two keep it in.But they all agree pretty well that individual factors are most important, followed by school and teacher factors of roughly equal size.Teacher factors explain somewhere between 5% and 20% of the variance.Other studies seem to agree, usually a little to the lower end.For example, Goldhaber, Brewer, and Anderson (1999) find teachers explain 9% of variance; Nye, Konstantopoulos, and Hedges (2004) find they explain 13% of variance for math and 7% for reading.
The American Statistical Association summarizes the research as “teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores”, which seems about right.