This paper assesses the impact of the Peruvian Ministry of Education teacher in-service training program (henceforth the program) on student achievement. Given the importance the Ministry attaches to interventions to strengthen teaching practices since 2008, it is relevant to know whether its impact supports a wider application to public schools nationwide. Using annual data from the Student Evaluation Census-ECE- and from other official datasets for 2014, and a matching technique (Propensity Score Matching) to control for differences between beneficiaries, we estimate the impact of the program on students Math & Reading comprehension both for full-grade and multigrade schools. Results show that there is a positive and signicant effect of the teacher training program on both Math and Reading achievement, but the magnitude of the effect differs. We find larger effects on Reading comprehension than on Math and in both topics larger effects for full-grade schools than for multigrade ones (the last are mostly found in rural areas). This might be related to the characteristics of the training in Reading comprehension: it is focused on learning pedagogical techniques (e.g. how to develop the curriculum within the classroom, how to motivate students, etc) instead of content knowledge, more focused on explaining mathematical problems. A sensitivity analysis complements and supports the results.
This paper also assesses whether the program is cost-effective. Comparisons with different programs, all of them related with the educational sector in Peru make us believe that it is worth implementing the program at a national level.
Impact evaluation; Propensity Score Matching; Professional development; inservice teachers training; student achievement; cost-effectiveness.