How Valuable Is an Effective Teacher? (Podcast)

In this podcast, Rick Hanushek talks with Ed Next’s Paul Peterson about his new study estimating the economic impact of teachers who produce higher than average gains in student learning.

Hanushek finds that the top 25 percent of teachers (teachers in the top quarter of the effectiveness distribution) contribute $16,000 per year in income to the average student (compared to what those students would earn if they had an average teacher). If a class has 25 students, that means that $400,000 in added income will accrue to students because they had a good teacher for one year.

If we could replace the bottom 5-8 percent of teachers with average teachers, we could perform as a nation near the top of the international math and science tests. In dollar terms, this would mean adding over $50 trillion to our nation’s gross domestic product.