The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality

Posted on December 27, 2010 by


The value of good educational institutes can never be underestimated. Nizam ul Mulk set up Islamic seminaries throughout the Muslim world with teachers such as Imam Juwayni who taught Imam al-Ghazzali who in turn raised generation after generation of Islamic scholars. Sadly, our generation fails to make the proper investment in Islamic educational institutes.

The article below can clearly identifies the worldly benefits of good teachers, but we ignore the value of a good teacher in the spiritual sciences. If our community does not prioritize supporting Islamic educational institutes, that is an illustration that our community has failed to prioritize at all. Its high time we put together an endowment task force for our Islamic educational institutes.

The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality

Eric A. Hanushek

NBER Working Paper No. 16606
Issued in December 2010
NBER Program(s):   ED LS PE

Most analyses of teacher quality end without any assessment of the economic value of altered teacher quality. This paper combines information about teacher effectiveness with the economic impact of higher achievement. It begins with an overview of what is known about the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement. This provides the basis for consideration of the derived demand for teachers that comes from their impact on economic outcomes. Alternative valuation methods are based on the impact of increased achievement on individual earnings and on the impact of low teacher effectiveness on economic growth through aggregate achievement. A teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates marginal gains of over $400,000 in present value of student future earnings with a class size of 20 and proportionately higher with larger class sizes. Alternatively, replacing the bottom 5-8 percent of teachers with average teachers could move the U.S. near the top of international math and science rankings with a present value of $100 trillion.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.

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