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Shrinkage of Value-Added Estimates and Characteristics of Students with Hard-to-Predict Achievement Levels

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  • Mariesa Herrmann
  • Elias Walsh
  • Eric Isenberg
  • Alexandra Resch
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    Abstract

    This working paper investigates how empirical Bayes shrinkage, an approach commonly used in implementing teacher accountability systems, affects the value-added estimates of teachers of students with hard-to-predict achievement levels, such as students who have low prior achievement and receive free lunch. Teachers of these students tend to have less precise value-added estimates than teachers of other types of students. Shrinkage increases their estimates’ precision and reduces the absolute value of their value-added estimates. However, this paper found shrinkage has no statistically significant effect on the relative probability that teachers of hard-to-predict students receive value-added estimates that fall in the extremes of the value-added distribution and, as a result, receive consequences in the accountability system.

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    File URL: http://mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/education/value-added_shrinkage_wp.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Mathematica Policy Research in its series Mathematica Policy Research Reports with number 7748.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 12 Apr 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:7748

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    Postal: Mathematica Policy Research P.O. Box 2393 Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 Attn: Communications
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    Keywords: Value-Added; Estimates; Students; Achievement;

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    References

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    1. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Koedel Cory & Leatherman Rebecca & Parsons Eric, 2012. "Test Measurement Error and Inference from Value-Added Models," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-37, November.
    3. Stacy, Brian & Guarino, Cassandra & Reckase, Mark D. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2013. "Does the Precision and Stability of Value-Added Estimates of Teacher Performance Depend on the Types of Students They Serve?," IZA Discussion Papers 7676, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2002. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
    5. 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.
    6. Heinrich Hock & Eric Isenberg, 2012. "Methods for Accounting for Co-Teaching in Value-Added Models," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7482, Mathematica Policy Research.
    7. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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