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Value Added to What? How a Ceiling in the Testing Instrument Influences Value-Added Estimation

  • Cory Koedel


    (Department of Economics, University of Missouri)

  • Julian Betts


    (University of California, San Diego, and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Value-added measures of teacher quality may be sensitive to the quantitative properties of the student tests upon which they are based. This article focuses on the sensitivity of value added to test score ceiling effects. Test score ceilings are increasingly common in testing instruments across the country as education policy continues to emphasize proficiency-based reform. Encouragingly, we show that over a wide range of test score ceiling severity, teachers' value-added estimates are only negligibly influenced by ceiling effects. However, as ceiling conditions approach those found in minimum-competency testing environments, value-added results are significantly altered. We suggest a simple statistical check for ceiling effects. © 2009 American Education Finance Association

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 54-81

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:5:y:2010:i:1:p:54-81
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  1. 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.
  2. John Yinger (ed.), 2004. "Helping Children Left Behind: State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262240467, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Charles Brown & Robert Moffitt, 1983. "The Effect of Ignoring Heteroscedasticity on Estimates of the Tobit Model," NBER Technical Working Papers 0027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Daniel M. O'Brien & Steven G. Rivkin, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 11154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hurd, Michael, 1979. "Estimation in truncated samples when there is heteroscedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 247-258.
  8. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Cory Koedel, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of Teacher Spillover Effects in Secondary School," Working Papers 0808, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  11. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
  12. Sass, Tim R. & Semykina, Anastasia & Harris, Douglas N., 2014. "Value-added models and the measurement of teacher productivity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 9-23.
  13. Richard T. Carson & Yixiao Sun, 2007. "The Tobit model with a non-zero threshold," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(3), pages 488-502, November.
  14. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
  15. Arabmazar, Abbas & Schmidt, Peter, 1981. "Further evidence on the robustness of the Tobit estimator to heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 253-258, November.
  16. 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.
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