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Shi Article on Putting Teachers on School Boards Published in Education Next

June 5, 2023

Education Next

Ying Shi headshot

Ying Shi

Ying Shi, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs, and John G. Singleton of the University of Rochester, investigated what happens when educators are elected to school boards.

Using records from the California Elections Data Archive, they looked at randomized ballot order, candidate filings, election records, and school district data, and provided the first evidence on how the composition of local school boards affects district resource allocation and student performance.

"Our analysis finds no impact on student achievement from an educator serving on a school board; neither average test scores nor high-school graduation rates improve. However, outcomes relevant to union priorities advance," according to Shi and Singleton.  

"Despite raising teachers’ salaries, electing an educator to a school board does not translate into improved outcomes for students and has negative impacts on charter schools. We believe this shows that school boards are an important causal channel through which teachers unions can exert influence." 

Read more in the Education Next article, "Putting Teachers on the Ballot."

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