Research Database

Vergara v. California Chamberlain, Gary E. “Predictive effects of teachers and schools on test scores, college attendance, and earnings.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (October, 2013).

Teacher Effectiveness

This study looked at the percentage of students that were enrolled in college at age 20 and the average earnings of each student at age 28 to determine the long term impacts of quality teaching. Not surprisingly, the impact was significant. Chamberlain found that even increasing teacher quality from the 50th to 84th percentile increases the chances that a student will go to college by 1% – a huge impact considering that students have many teachers over the course of their school careers.

Vergara v. California DeMonte, Jenny. “High-Quality Professional Development for Teachers: Supporting Teacher Training to Improve Student Learning.” The Center for American Progress (July, 2013).

Teacher Effectiveness

This paper is the first of a periodic series of reports and briefs by the Center for American Progress looking at professional learning—what states and districts are doing that is working, and what policies are in place to support effective teacher-training activities.

Vergara v. California “Human Capital Diagnostic: Los Angeles Unified School District.” Strategic Data Project (November 2012).

Teacher Effectiveness

This report evaluates the Los Angeles Unified School District in five areas. Among its conclusions, it finds that first-year teachers are assigned to students who begin the year academically behind other students, teachers with advanced degrees do not have higher effects on student outcomes than their colleagues, and teachers who were laid off in 2008-09 and 2009-10 had similar average teacher effects as their colleagues who were not laid off.

Vergara v. California “State of the States: Teacher Effectiveness Policies.” National Council on Teacher Quality (November 2012).

Teacher Effectiveness

This report gives an overview of all state policies regarding teacher effectiveness, and concludes there are overall positive trends in state policy to improve educational outcomes. Some of these policy improvements include the incorporation of student achievement as a significant factor in evaluations, the use of a differentiated rating system, and the inclusion of classroom observations when assessing effectiveness. The report also reveals, however, that California, however, has not made progress in these policy areas and therefore received a failing grade (F) for 2012.

Vergara v. California Roseberg, Sarah and Elena Silva. “Trending Towards Reform: Teachers Speak on Unions and the Future of the Profession.” Education Sector (July 2012).

Teacher Effectiveness

This report polls a large sample of unionized teachers to document attitude shifts between 2007 and 2011. It navigates through particular areas like the role of unions, pay, evaluation, and tenure, and shows the vast majority of teachers say unions are either essential (46 percent) or important (40 percent), these numbers have shifted some over the years, with a notable decrease in the number who say unions are absolutely essential (down from 54 percent in 2007). 71 percent say that despite having the strength of their unions behind them, rank-and-file teachers usually have very little control over what goes on in their schools.

Vergara v. California “Teacher Quality Roadmap.” National Council on Teacher Quality (June 2011).

Teacher Effectiveness

This analysis describes best practices in the field for improving teacher quality through discussion of teacher assignment, evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work scheduling. Its key findings apply specifically to the Los Angeles Unified School District, but it contains applicable lessons and recommendations broken down by locale for school districts of other sizes and locations.

Vergara v. California Rivkin, Steven G., Eric A. Hanushek, and John F. Kain. “Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement.” Econometrica (March 2005).

Teacher Effectiveness

This academic study on the impact of schools and teacher on student performance concludes that teacher quality matters significantly in student achievement, particularly in math and reading. Yet, it also notes that little student achievement variation is explained by class size or observable teacher characteristics (such as education or experience).