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Teacher effectiveness is generally regarded as the key schooling input determining student success. Recent federal efforts in the United States to hold schools and teachers accountable for student achievement through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Race to the Top competition begun in 2009 have resulted in concerted efforts on the part of states, districts, and schools to develop measures of teacher performance in addition to measures of school performance.

Conceptually, teacher quality is a complex construct with many dimensions. For example, teachers may help students acquire both cognitive and noncognitive skills. Cognitive skills refer to subject matter knowledge, comprehension, and reasoning abilities. Noncognitive skills refer to skills that are largely behavioral and attitudinal, such as paying attention; completing homework assignments ...

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