RISE Insights - Understanding the Levers for Improving Teacher Quality
In the first RISE Insight, Understanding the Levers for Improving Teacher Quality, Christina Brown (a RISE Pakistan Country Research team member) identifies four levers for improving teacher quality and how these channels should not be looked at in isolation, but rather as an interconnected relationship.
Unfortunately, research has shown that teacher quality is quite low in most developing countries. For example, in Pakistan, twenty-two percent of public school teachers are absent on a given day, and when they are present, they are often ineffective. By third grade, students have already fallen behind national learning standards. How do policymakers and education leaders attract talented individuals to teaching, accurately screen for quality at the time of hiring, and incentivise them to stay in the classroom?
In the piece, Brown looks at how the policies that affect teacher quality can be characterised as either impacting teachers at the point of entry or exit from the profession, or affecting the existing stock of teachers. However, she argues that treating these channels as separate, rather than part of the larger teacher labour market, misses important supply side effects and heterogeneity in treatment effects.
As part of the RISE research programme, Brown and her colleagues, will be studying how to increase teacher quality in the context of private schools in Pakistan. Using data from a network of private schools spread throughout the country, the team hopes to better understand the relationships between the levers and the dynamics on teacher quality.