Second Time's the Charm? How Repeat Student-Teacher Matches Build Academic and Behavioral Skills



We examine the dynamic nature of student-teacher match quality by studying the effect of having a teacher for more than one year. Using state-wide data from Tennessee and panel methods, we find that having a repeat teacher improves achievement and decreases absences, truancy, and suspensions. These results are robust to a range of tests for teacher and student sorting. White girls benefit most academically from repeat teachers and boys of color benefit most behaviorally. Effects increase with the share of repeat students in a teacher’s class suggesting that intentional classroom assignments policies such as looping may have even larger benefits. 

Leigh Wedenoja,
Jul 21, 2020, 11:23 AM