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Are teachers less effective when they work multiple jobs?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 8:30am to 9:50am
Spring 2021

Are teachers less effective when they work multiple jobs?

Low salaries and a limited number of full-time positions may lead teachers to take on additional teaching jobs in more than one school. This phenomenon is particularly widespread in Latin America, where nearly 20 percent of the lower secondary teachers work in multiple schools. However, little is known as to whether working multiple school jobs affects teachers’ performance. In this seminar, I discuss two studies that use administrative and test data from Brazil to explore the effect of teachers’ multiple school jobs on student achievement. Results show that students’ test scores decline when their teachers work in more than one school. Moreover, multiple school jobs are more detrimental for female teachers, probably because women take on more responsibilities outside of work. Our findings also suggest that teachers are less effective when they work in multiple schools because they might be more burned out from dealing with a greater diversity of job tasks.

About Luana Marotta:

Luana is an Education Senior Associate at the Inter-American Development Bank. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education and International Comparative Education from Stanford University. Her current work focuses on issues related to teacher allocation in Latin America, including exploration of patterns and drivers of teacher shortage; evaluation of strategies to attract teachers to hard-to-staff schools; and investigation of alternative forms of teacher hiring and their implications for education quality.