What's a Good Teacher Worth? About $5,292

by Vault Education Editors | April 01, 2011

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How do you measure the value of a good teacher?

A NYT op-ed contributor writes that “Good teaching helps make productive and fully realized adults—a result that won’t show up in each semester’s test scores and statistics.”

Research by Eric A. Hanushek of Stanford’s Hoover Institution suggests a good teacher is worth, oh, about $5,292.

Over the course of just one year of teaching, a teacher who is at the 60th percentile in effectiveness (better than 60% of others) raises students' lifetime earnings by an average of $5,292 per person, which translates into a present value of $105,830 for a class of 20, says Eric A. Hanusheka of Stanford. Below-average teachers produce corresponding decreases in earnings, so gains will be canceled out if a student gets a bad teacher after having a good one, Hanusheka says.


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