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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Good English teachers add value in math

Good English Language Arts teachers raise students’ performance in future years — in English and math, writes Daniel Willingham. However, good math teaching doesn’t carry over to English performance.


In the short term, math teachers have more impact than English teachers, because students tend to learn most of their math in school, note the authors of a new study. However, ELA and math teachers make similar contributions to long-term outcomes, such as graduation.

Looking at large data sets in New York City and Miami-Dade, researchers confirmed that 25 to 30 percent of value-added measures persist into the next year in both math and English, writes Willingham. Forty-six percent of the VAM effect carried over to math achievement in Miami-Dade; the carry over was 70 percent in New York City.

“But having a really effective math teacher had very little impact on ELA achievement the following year,” he writes. The carry over was only 5 percent in both districts.

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