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How do Principals Assign Students to Teachers? Finding Evidence in Administrative Data and the Implications for Value Added

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  • Steven Dieterle
  • Cassandra M. Guarino
  • Mark D. Reckase
  • Jeffrey M. Wooldridge

Abstract

The federal government's Race to the Top competition has promoted the adoption of test‐based value‐added measures (VAMs) of performance as a component of teacher evaluations throughout many states, but the validity of these measures has been controversial among researchers and widely contested by teachers’ unions. A key concern is the extent to which nonrandom sorting of students to teachers may bias the results and lead to a misclassification of teachers as high or low performing. In light of potential for bias, it is important to assess the extent to which evidence of sorting can be found in the large administrative data sets used for VAM estimation. Using a large longitudinal data set from an anonymous state, we find evidence that a nontrivial amount of sorting exists—particularly sorting based on prior test scores—and that the extent of sorting varies considerably across schools, a fact obscured by the types of aggregate sorting indices developed in prior research. We also find that VAM estimation is sensitive to the presence of nonrandom sorting. There is less agreement across estimation approaches regarding a particular teacher's rank in the distribution of estimated effectiveness when schools engage in sorting.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Dieterle & Cassandra M. Guarino & Mark D. Reckase & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "How do Principals Assign Students to Teachers? Finding Evidence in Administrative Data and the Implications for Value Added," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(1), pages 32-58, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:34:y:2015:i:1:p:32-58
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.21781
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Buddin, Richard, 2011. "Measuring teacher and school effectiveness at improving student achievement in Los Angeles elementary schools," MPRA Paper 31963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
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    7. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2009. "Student Demographics, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from the End of School Desegregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 213-256, April.
    8. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
    9. Koedel Cory & Leatherman Rebecca & Parsons Eric, 2012. "Test Measurement Error and Inference from Value-Added Models," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-37, November.
    10. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
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    12. Cassandra M. Guarino & Michelle Maxfield & Mark D. Reckase & Paul N. Thompson & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "An Evaluation of Empirical Bayes’s Estimation of Value-Added Teacher Performance Measures," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 40(2), pages 190-222, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cassandra M. Guarino & Mark D. Reckase & Jeffrey M. Woolrdige, 2014. "Can Value-Added Measures of Teacher Performance Be Trusted?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(1), pages 117-156, November.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Schiman, Jeffrey C., 2016. "Dynamic effects of teacher turnover on the quality of instruction," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 132-148.
    3. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2016. "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2783-2816, October.
    4. Guarino, Cassandra M. & Reckase, Mark D. & Stacy, Brian & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2014. "A Comparison of Growth Percentile and Value-Added Models of Teacher Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Steven Dieterle, 2013. "Development Class-size Reduction Policies and the Quality of Entering Teachers," ESE Discussion Papers 224, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    6. repec:eee:injoed:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:33-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ali Protik & Steven Glazerman & Julie Bruch & Bing-ru Teh, 2015. "Staffing a Low-Performing School: Behavioral Responses to Selective Teacher Transfer Incentives," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(4), pages 573-610, October.
    8. Gershenson, Seth, 2016. "Should Value-Added Models Control for Student Absences?," IZA Discussion Papers 9978, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Gershenson, Seth & Hart, Cassandra M. D. & Lindsay, Constance A. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2017. "The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers," IZA Discussion Papers 10630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Dieterle, Steven G., 2015. "Class-size reduction policies and the quality of entering teachers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 35-47.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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