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Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique

Author

Listed:
  • Cory Koedel

    (Department of Economics, University of Missouri)

  • Julian R. Betts

    (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego and NBER)

Abstract

Value-added modeling continues to gain traction as a tool for measuring teacher performance. However, recent research questions the validity of the value-added approach by showing that it does not mitigate student-teacher sorting bias (its presumed primary benefit). Our study explores this critique in more detail. Although we find that estimated teacher effects from some value-added models are severely biased, we also show that a sufficiently complex value-added model that evaluates teachers over multiple years reduces the sorting bias problem to statistical insignificance. One implication of our findings is that data from the first year or two of classroom teaching for novice teachers may be insufficient to make reliable judgments about quality. Overall, our results suggest that in some cases value-added modeling will continue to provide useful information about the effectiveness of educational inputs. © 2011 Association for Education Finance and Policy

Suggested Citation

  • Cory Koedel & Julian R. Betts, 2011. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 18-42, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:6:y:2011:i:1:p:18-42
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Daniel F. McCaffrey & Tim R. Sass & J. R. Lockwood & Kata Mihaly, 2009. "The Intertemporal Variability of Teacher Effect Estimates," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 572-606, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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    7. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
    8. 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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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    student sorting; teacher effectiveness; value-added modeling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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