Good English teachers improve math scores

Good English teachers raise their students’ reading, writing and math performance for years, according to a working paper by a team of Stanford and University of Virginia researchers. Effective math teachers raise achievement only in math.

Researchers followed 700,000 New York City students  in third through eighth grade from 2003-04 to 2011-12.  Good English language arts or math teachers “not only produce higher than expected test scores during the year that they are teaching the students, but their students go on to score better in that subject in subsequent years,” they found.

More surprising were the crossover effects from English to math. The researchers found that the students of good English language arts teachers had higher than expected math scores in subsequent years. And this long-term boost to math performance was nearly as large (three quarters) as the long-term benefits within the subject of English. Conversely, good math teachers had only minimal long-term effects on English performance.

“Long-term benefits to good teaching were smaller in schools dominated by minority and low-income students,” the study found.

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