Maria Fitzpatrick, and Michael Lovenheim, both assistant professors of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University, researched the impact of early retirement initiatives in public education. Their findings indicate that although early retirement incentives lead to the replacement of experienced educators with novice teachers, they do not result in reduced test scores. These results are surprising given the evidence that inexperienced teachers tend to be lower-performing than their more experienced colleagues.
Their findings will be published in the paper, "Early Retirement Incentives and Student Achievement" in the upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.
According to Fitzpatrick and Lovenheim: "Early retirement incentives (ERIs) are increasingly prevalent in education as districts seek to close budget gaps by replacing expensive experienced teachers with lower-cost newer teachers. Combined with the aging of the teacher workforce, these ERIs are likely to change the composition of teachers dramatically in the coming years.
"We use exogenous variation from an ERI program in Illinois in the mid-1990s to provide the first evidence in the literature of the effects of large-scale teacher retirements on student achievement. We find the program did not reduce test scores; likely, it increased them, with positive effects most pronounced in lower-SES schools."
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