This article examines whether a popular innovation for increasing human capital in the teaching profession—competitive college scholarships for teachers— is effective.
The authors show that one large and long-standing merit-based scholarship program
(a) attracts teacher candidates who have high academic qualifications;
(b) yields graduates who teach lower performing students, although not as challenging as the students of other beginning teachers;
(c) produces teachers who raise high school and third- through eighth-grade mathematics test scores more than other traditionally prepared teachers do; and
(d) produces teachers who stay in public school classrooms for 5 years or more at higher rates than alternative entry or other traditionally prepared teachers.