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Teacher heterogeneity, value-added and education policy

Author

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  • Condie, Scott
  • Lefgren, Lars
  • Sims, David

Abstract

This study examines the theoretical and practical implications of ranking teachers with a one-dimensional value-added metric when teacher effectiveness varies across subjects or student types. We create a theoretical framework which suggests specific tests of the standard teacher input homogeneity assumption. Using North Carolina data we show that value-added fails to empirically meet these tests and document that this leads to a large number of teacher misrankings. Thus, critics of potential value-added teacher personnel policies are correct that such policies will terminate many of the wrong teachers. However, we derive the conditions under which such policies will improve student test scores and find that they will almost certainly be met. We then demonstrate that value-added information can also be used to improve student test scores by matching teachers to students or subjects according to their comparative advantage. These matching gains likely exceed those of a feasible, value-added based firing policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Condie, Scott & Lefgren, Lars & Sims, David, 2014. "Teacher heterogeneity, value-added and education policy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 76-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:76-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.11.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
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    8. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
    9. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2007. "Re-Examining the Role of Teacher Quality In the Educational Production Function," Working Papers 0708, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    10. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    11. J. R. Lockwood & Daniel F. McCaffrey, 2009. "Exploring Student-Teacher Interactions in Longitudinal Achievement Data," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 439-467, October.
    12. Scott E. Carrell & Bruce I. Sacerdote & James E. West, 2013. "From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Importance of Endogenous Peer Group Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 855-882, May.
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    15. Sean F. Reardon & Stephen W. Raudenbush, 2009. "Assumptions of Value-Added Models for Estimating School Effects," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 492-519, October.
    16. Douglas N. Harris, 2009. "Would Accountability Based on Teacher Value Added Be Smart Policy? An Examination of the Statistical Properties and Policy Alternatives," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 319-350, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Eric Isenberg & Jeffrey Max & Philip Gleason & Matthew Johnson & Jonah Deutsch & Michael Hansen, "undated". "Do Low-Income Students Have Equal Access to Effective Teachers? Evidence from 26 Districts (Final Report)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ce9ae6b49ff34e388113f31ca, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Lindsay Fox, 2016. "Playing to Teachers’ Strengths: Using Multiple Measures of Teacher Effectiveness to Improve Teacher Assignments," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(1), pages 70-96, Winter.
    4. Stacy, Brian, 2014. "Ranking Teachers when Teacher Value-Added is Heterogeneous Across Students," EconStor Preprints 104743, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    5. Cook, Jason B. & Mansfield, Richard K., 2016. "Task-specific experience and task-specific talent: Decomposing the productivity of high school teachers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 51-72.
    6. Koedel, Cory & Mihaly, Kata & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2015. "Value-added modeling: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-195.
    7. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li & Matthew G. Springer & Li Tan, 2016. "The Impact of Performance Ratings on Job Satisfaction for Public School Teachers," Working Papers 1617, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value-added; Teacher heterogeneity; Education policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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