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Test Measurement Error and Inference from Value-Added Models

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Abstract

It is widely known that standardized tests are noisy measures of student learning, but value added models (VAMs) rarely take direct account of measurement error in student test scores. We examine the extent to which modifying VAMs to include information about test measurement error (TME) can improve inference. Our analysis is divided into two parts – one based on simulated data and the other based on administrative micro data from Missouri. In the simulations we control the data generating process, which ensures that we obtain accurate TME metrics with which to modify our value-added models. In the real-data portion of our analysis we use estimates of TME provided by a major test publisher. We find that inference from VAMs is improved by making simple TME adjustments to the models. This is a notable result because the improvement can be had at zero cost.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1201.

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Length: 31 pgs.
Date of creation: 30 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1201

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Keywords: value added models; value added; teacher value added; test measurement error; teacher evaluation;

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References

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  1. Eric Isenberg & Heinrich Hock, 2010. "Measuring School and Teacher Value Added for IMPACT and TEAM in DC Public Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7019, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Gadi Barlevy & Derek Neal, 2011. "Pay for Percentile," NBER Working Papers 17194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2009. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," Working Paper Series rwp09-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Dale Ballou, 2009. "Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-383, October.
  7. Michael J. Podgursky & Matthew G. Springer, 2007. "Teacher performance pay: A review," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 909-950.
  8. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2009. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Working Papers 0902, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Heather C. Hill, 2009. "Evaluating value-added models: A validity argument approach," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 700-709.
  10. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-71, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2011. "Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority versus Measures of Effectiveness," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 439-454, July.
  14. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
  16. Douglas O. Staiger & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2010. "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 97-118, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Eric Parsons, 2013. "The Icarus Syndrome: Why Do Some High Flyers Soar While Others Fall?," Working Papers 1308, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  2. Dieterle, Steven G. & Guarino, Cassandra & Reckase, Mark D. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2012. "How do Principals Assign Students to Teachers? Finding Evidence in Administrative Data and the Implications for Value-added," IZA Discussion Papers 7112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Cory Koedel & Mark Ehlert & Eric Parsons & Michael Podgursky & P. Brett Xiang, 2014. "Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations," Working Papers 1401, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  4. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li, 2014. "The Efficiency Implications of Using Proportional Evaluations to Shape the Teaching Workforce," Working Papers 1402, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  5. Matthew Johnson & Stephen Lipscomb & Brian Gill, 2013. "Sensitivity of Teacher Value-Added Estimates to Student and Peer Control Variables," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7941, Mathematica Policy Research.
  6. Mariesa Herrmann & Elias Walsh & Eric Isenberg & Alexandra Resch, 2013. "Shrinkage of Value-Added Estimates and Characteristics of Students with Hard-to-Predict Achievement Levels," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7748, Mathematica Policy Research.

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