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Better Schools, or Better Teachers?

How much does school choice matter? Probably less than you think, as Levitt has previously argued. Now, in an analysis of seven years of test-score data from 6,000 Los Angeles teachers, the L.A. Times, assisted by a senior Rand Corp. economist, has found teacher effectiveness to be three times more influential than school attendance on student performance. What’s more, the Times reports, “the best teachers were not concentrated in schools in the most affluent neighborhoods, nor were the weakest instructors bunched in poor areas. … The quality of instruction typically varied far more within a school than between schools.” More data from the study is here. (HT: Amanda Ripley) [%comments]