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The Effects of Experience and Attrition for Novice High-School Science and Mathematics Teachers

Science  02 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6072, pp. 1118-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215343

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Abstract

Because of the current high proportion of novice high-school teachers, many students’ mastery of science and mathematics depends on the effectiveness of early-career teachers. In this study, which used value-added models to analyze high-school teachers’ effectiveness in raising test scores on 1.05 million end-of-course exams, we found that the effectiveness of high-school science and mathematics teachers increased substantially with experience but exhibited diminishing rates of return by their fourth year; that teachers of algebra 1, algebra 2, biology, and physical science who continued to teach for at least 5 years were more effective as novice teachers than those who left the profession earlier; and that novice teachers of physics, chemistry, physical science, geometry, and biology exhibited steeper growth in effectiveness than did novice non–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers.

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