Regulatory Arbitrage in Teacher Hiring and Retention: Evidence from Massachusetts Charter Schools

This descriptive study by Jesse Bruhn, Scott Imberman, and Marcus Winters documents how teacher quality, as measured by value-added, drives teacher retention in Massachusetts charter schools. Teachers with the highest or lowest value-added are the most likely to leave charter schools; however, teachers with high value-added leave to teach in traditional public schools, while teachers with low value-added exit public education altogether. These conclusions hold regardless of the overall quality of the charter school. The authors hypothesize that teachers treat charter schools as a way to test their preferences and abilities to teach without the cost of incurring a license, which is typically required to teach at a traditional public school but not required to teach at a charter.

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