Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer wrote for American Economic Review, 101(5): 1739–74, DOI:10.1257/aer.101.5.1739, Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya
To the extent that students benefit from high-achieving peers, tracking will help strong students and hurt weak ones. However, all students may benefit if tracking allows teachers to better tailor their instruction level. Lower-achieving pupils are particularly likely to benefit from tracking when teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution. We propose a simple model nesting these effects and test its implications in a randomized tracking experiment conducted with 121 primary schools in Kenya. While the direct effect of high-achieving peers is positive, tracking benefited lower-achieving pupils indirectly by allowing teachers to teach to their level. (JEL I21, J45, O15)The first sentence is the standard “diversity” argument that CUEE keeps making. The authors state it so as to poing out that their study finds that it’s far from the whole story.
I find this part especially interesting:
Lower-achieving pupils are particularly likely to benefit from tracking when teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution.That appears to mean that teachers don’t even need direct incentives to teach to the rest of the distribution; merely focusing on one part of the distribution also frees teachers to to focus on other parts of the distribution. And then imagine what if teachers also had incentives to focus on the lower-achieving pupils?
Here’s a slightly earlier version of the paper that doesn’t require signing up to get it.
It appears to me that the Chamber and CUEE have no arguments left for school consolidation. I agree with FVCS and Nimrod and both school systems and the Valdosta City Council that consolidation is a bad idea and registered voters in Valdosta should vote No to school consolidation Tuesday November 8th.
I also like Jim Parker’s idea:
How about as a first step the Chamber pledge an equivalent amount of money it and its members have spent on CUEE to the Boards of Education yearly, to be used as the teachers see fit?They could spend it on incentives for teachers to address all distributions of students.