Do good teachers make other teachers better?

There’s an interesting article in Education Week about the impact of “top-notch” teachers on their peers. Quoting from a new study, the articles suggests new evidence about the so-called “spillover effect” in teaching.

Study co-authors C. Kirabo Jackson and Elias Bruegmann, working from 11 years of data, measured teacher quality by two different types of criteria: “observable” traits, like experience or credentials, and whether teachers raised test scores of their students.

Either way, the researchers found, student achievement rises across a grade when a high-quality teacher comes on board. The effects were twice as strong, though, for the value-added calculations. They show that, for the average educator teaching in a grade with three other teachers, replacing one peer with a more effective one has a spillover effect of .86 percent of a standard deviation on students’ test scores.

This all reminded us of the impact Sidney Poitier‘s character had on his students — and the rest of the faculty — in “To Sir, With Love.” Talk about inspiration! Remember this goose-bump montage sequence?

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