Teacher Effectiveness in Africa: Longitudinal and Causal Estimates Rebecca Thornton Abstract
This paper presents the first estimates of teacher effectiveness from Africa, using longitudinal data from a school-based RCT in northern Uganda. Exploiting the random assignment of students to classrooms within schools, we estimate a lower bound on the variation in teacher effectiveness. A 1-SD increase in teacher effectiveness leads to at least a 0.16 SD improvement in local language reading, 0.34 in English reading and 0.42 in Math, at the end of one year. Teacher effectiveness is only weakly correlated with observable teacher characteristics. Using the RCT that finds massive effects on student learning, we find that providing high-impact teacher training and support increases the variation in teacher effectiveness in the local language and in English, most likely by improving teaching among the mosteffective teachers. In contrast, the intervention slightly reduces the variation in teacher effectiveness for Math.