Thursday, January 24, 2013

Early retirement of older teachers raises test scores

Given the prevalence of districts offering older teachers incentives to retire early in order to fill budget gaps and the rising average age of the teachers, the composition of teachers will change dramatically in coming years. However, there currently is no information on how these changes in the teacher workforce will affect student achievement.

In this study, researchers examined early retirement incentive program in Illinois in the mid-1990s to identify the effects of large-scale teacher retirements on student achievement. They found the program did not reduce test scores; likely, it increased them. The positive effects were most pronounced in low-SES and lower-performing schools. The results suggest that districts may be able to lower costs without damaging student outcomes through early retirement programs.

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