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Tuesday, March 31 • 2:30pm - Saturday, March 15 • 2:45pm
Alexander Gordan: Class Choice: A Student-Driven Approach to Class Assignments

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In line with consistent findings that teacher quality is one of the biggest determinants of student achievement, school districts have invested time and money into a variety of incentive policies intended to improve the quality of teaching force, with the Value Added Model emerging as the most studied and widely adopted approach to observing teacher quality. Research on different methods for compensating teachers on the basis of VAM's (i.e. merit pay for the best teachers versus firing the worst teachers) is considerably more mixed, as is generally the case in compensation problems. One problem that has been identified in the implementation of VAM’s is that students are assigned to teachers in a non-random fashion, with better students being assigned to better teachers, which poses at least two distinct problems: increasing inequity in the school system, and creating an unintentional compensation system (since teachers prefer easier-to-teach students). I propose a mechanism for student assignment based on student preferences over teachers, thereby leveraging existing merit pay systems to incentivize teachers to cater to currently underserved student subgroups.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 2:30pm - Saturday March 15, 2031 2:45pm EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room A-1 - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301