Educational Research for Policy and Practice

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 205–217 | Cite as

Assessing the productivity of schools through two “what works” inputs, teacher quality and teacher effectiveness

Original Article


This paper is a critique of the school education productivity evaluation and two research constructs germane to it, teacher quality and teacher effectiveness. The paper will argue that policy inceptions of teacher quality and teacher effectiveness proxy for the productive capacity of schools and more broadly, school systems. Student achievement scores as determined by high stakes testing are the school education outputs of policy significance in current times while inputs thought to matter are increasingly tapered towards the particular characteristics of classroom teachers, specifically their quality (usually credentials) and effectiveness (teaching behaviours). The paper finds that attributing school system success largely to teachers and their work, especially in terms of their classroom teaching practice(s), distorts the school education policy agenda so that evaluations of school productivity purely serve accountability purposes.


Teacher quality Teacher effectiveness Student achievement Inputs–Outputs Policy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityVictoriaAustralia

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