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How do Principals Assign Students to Teachers? Finding Evidence in Administrative Data and the Implications for Value-added

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Author Info

  • Dieterle, Steven G.

    ()
    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Guarino, Cassandra

    ()
    (Indiana University)

  • Reckase, Mark D.

    ()
    (Michigan State University)

  • Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.

    ()
    (Michigan State University)

Abstract

The federal government's Race to the Top competition has promoted the adoption of test-based performance measures as a component of teacher evaluations throughout many states, but the validity of these measures has been controversial among researchers and widely contested by teachers' unions. A key concern is the extent to which nonrandom sorting of students to teachers may bias the results and lead to a misclassification of teachers as high or low performing. In light of this, it is important to assess the extent to which evidence of sorting can be found in the large administrative data sets used for VAM estimation. Using a large longitudinal data set from an anonymous state, we find evidence that a nontrivial amount of sorting exists – particularly sorting based on prior test scores – and that the extent of sorting varies considerably across schools, a fact obscured by the types of aggregate sorting indices developed in prior research. We also find that VAM estimation is sensitive to the presence of nonrandom sorting. There is less agreement across estimation approaches regarding a particular teacher's rank in the distribution of estimated effectiveness when schools engage in sorting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7112.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7112

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Related research

Keywords: value added; teacher quality; teacher labor markets; education;

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References

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  1. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2009. "Student Demographics, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from the End of School Desegregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 213-256, 04.
  3. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
  4. Buddin, Richard, 2011. "Measuring teacher and school effectiveness at improving student achievement in Los Angeles elementary schools," MPRA Paper 31963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  6. Cory Koedel & Rebecca Leatherman & Eric Parsons, 2012. "Test Measurement Error and Inference from Value-Added Models," Working Papers 1201, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  7. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  8. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
  10. Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Dominic J. Brewer, 1996. "Detracking America's schools: Equity at zero cost?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 623-645.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven Dieterle (University of Edinburgh), 2013. "Development Class-size Reduction Policies and the Quality of Entering Teachers," ESE Discussion Papers 224, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  2. Guarino, Cassandra & Reckase, Mark D. & Stacy, Brian & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2014. "A Comparison of Growth Percentile and Value-Added Models of Teacher Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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