The academic benefits of student-teacher familiarity aka having the same teacher 2 year in a row (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief and this time I’m picking this study from their overview:

A study published in the journal Economics of Education Review suggests that assigning students to the same teacher two years in a row may improve academic performance because teachers get to know their students and are able to adjust and target their teaching styles accordingly.
Andrew J. Hill and Daniel B. Jones used administrative data from North Carolina to observe the importance of student-teacher familiarity on academic performance in elementary school. They found that “looping,” in which an entire class moves to the next year with the same teacher, results in a small but statistically significant increase in student achievement. Students who spent a second year with the same teacher scored higher on end-of-year tests (on average 0.123 of a standard deviation) than those who weren’t matched. These benefits were greatest for minority students and lower-performing teachers (as measured by value-added).
This study is interesting, although I would love to have some other kind of research backing this up. That it benefits minority students is an important reason enough to look further into this.

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