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Assumptions of Value-Added Models for Estimating School Effects

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  • Sean F. Reardon

    ()
    (School of Education, Stanford University)

  • Stephen W. Raudenbush

    ()
    (Department of Sociology, University of Chicago)

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    Abstract

    The ability of school (or teacher) value-added models to provide unbiased estimates of school (or teacher) effects rests on a set of assumptions. In this article, we identify six assumptions that are required so that the estimands of such models are well defined and the models are able to recover the desired parameters from observable data. These assumptions are (1) manipulability, (2) no interference between units, (3) interval scale metric, (4) homogeneity of effects, (5) strongly ignorable assignment, and (6) functional form. We discuss the plausibility of these assumptions and the consequences of their violation. In particular, because the consequences of violations of the last three assumptions have not been assessed in prior literature, we conduct a set of simulation analyses to investigate the extent to which plausible violations of them alter inferences from value-added models. We find that modest violations of these assumptions degrade the quality of value-added estimates but that models that explicitly account for heterogeneity of school effects are less affected by violations of the other assumptions. © 2009 American Education Finance Association

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 492-519

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:4:y:2009:i:4:p:492-519

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    Related research

    Keywords: value-added models; School effects; teacher effects;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jorge Manzi & Ernesto San Martín & Sébastien Van Bellegem, 2014. "School System Evaluation by Value Added Analysis Under Endogeneity," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 130-153, January.
    2. Condie, Scott & Lefgren, Lars & Sims, David, 2014. "Teacher heterogeneity, value-added and education policy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 76-92.

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