Women, the labor market, and the declining relative quality of teachers

Sean P. Corcoran, William N. Evans, Robert M. Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

School officials and policymakers have grown increasingly concerned about their ability to attract and retain talented teachers. A number of authors have shown that in recent years the brightest students - at least those with the highest verbal and math scores on standardized tests - are less likely to enter teaching. In addition, it is frequently claimed that the ability of schools to attract these top students has been steadily declining for years. There is, however, surprisingly little evidence measuring the extent to which this popular proposition is true. We have good reason to suspect that the quality of those entering teaching has fallen over time. Teaching has for years remained a predominately female profession; at the same time, the employment opportunities for talented women outside teaching have soared. In this paper, we combine data from five longitudinal surveys of high school graduates spanning the classes of 1957 to 1992 to examine how the propensity for talented women to enter teaching has changed over time. While the quality of the average new female teacher has fallen only slightly over this period, the likelihood that a female from the top of her high school class will eventually enter teaching has fallen dramatically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-470
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

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labor market
Teaching
teacher
female profession
female teacher
school class
school graduate
ability
employment opportunity
school
Labour market
student
evidence
time
High school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

Cite this

Women, the labor market, and the declining relative quality of teachers. / Corcoran, Sean P.; Evans, William N.; Schwab, Robert M.

In: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 23, No. 3, 06.2004, p. 449-470.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Corcoran, Sean P. ; Evans, William N. ; Schwab, Robert M. / Women, the labor market, and the declining relative quality of teachers. In: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 2004 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 449-470.
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