An advanced degree and multiple years of teaching experience don’t necessarily make for a better teacher. A new study from the Tennessee Department of Education shows that teachers with these qualities, which traditionally increase teacher salaries, do not increase what children learn over teachers without them.
“Previous research has consistently shown there is little to no correlation between teacher graduate degrees and effectiveness” as measured by what children learn in a school year, said Kelli Gauthier, a Tennessee Department of Education spokeswoman. ”Similarly, research has shown that teacher effectiveness is not correlated with experience after the first five years in the classroom. This study reinforces those results. We have highly effective teachers who have master’s degrees and highly effective teachers who do not. We have highly effective teachers with many years of classroom experience and highly effective teachers with relatively few years in the classroom.”
This study is “important news,” said John Chubb, a Hoover Institution fellow and author of The Best Teachers in the World, because, unlike economists, education authorities have hardly studied the relationship between teacher quality and inputs like degrees and experience.
“At a time when school districts are struggling to make ends meet with fewer state and local tax