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Impediments to the Estimation of Teacher Value Added


  • Jun Ishii

    () (Department of Economics, Amherst College)

  • Steven G. Rivkin

    () (Department of Economics, Amherst College)


This article considers potential impediments to the estimation of teacher quality caused primarily by the purposeful behavior of families, administrators, and teachers. The discussion highlights the benefits of accounting for student and school differences through a value-added modeling approach that incorporates a student's history of family, school, and community influences. Unfortunately, the value-added framework does not address all potential impediments to the consistent estimation of teacher quality of instruction, even when focused solely on within-school differences. Of particular importance is the nonrandom assignment of students to classrooms on the basis of unobservable characteristics and parental and school responses to teacher quality. Evidence from studies that take extensive measures to mitigate the influence of purposeful classroom assignment nonetheless supports the existence of substantial within-school variation in the quality of instruction. © 2009 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Jun Ishii & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "Impediments to the Estimation of Teacher Value Added," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 520-536, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:4:y:2009:i:4:p:520-536

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    Cited by:

    1. Marta De Philippis, 2015. "Multitask Agents and Incentives: The Case of Teaching and Research for University Professors," CEP Discussion Papers dp1386, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. Koedel, Cory & Mihaly, Kata & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2015. "Value-added modeling: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-195.
    4. Wiswall, Matthew, 2013. "The dynamics of teacher quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-78.

    More about this item


    value-added modeling; teacher quality;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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