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Measuring the Impacts of Teachers: Response to Rothstein (2014)

Author

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  • Chetty, Raj
  • Friedman, John
  • Rockoff, Jonah

Abstract

Using data from North Carolina, Jesse Rothstein (2014) presents a comprehensive replication of Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff's [CFR] (2014a,b) results on teachers' impacts. In addition, Rothstein presents new evidence that he argues raises concerns about three aspects of CFR's methods and identification assumptions: their treatment of missing data, the validity of their quasi-experimental design, and their method of controlling for observables when estimating teachers' long-term effects. In this paper, we show that Rothstein's methodological critiques are not valid by replicating his new empirical findings using simulated data in which none of CFR's identification assumptions are violated. We also present supplementary empirical evidence from our data supporting the assumptions required for CFR's original analyses. Together, these results show that: (1) Rothstein's technique for imputing teacher VA for teachers with missing data generates bias, while subsamples with no missing data yield estimates of forecast bias similar to CFR's baseline results; (2) his proposed prior score \placebo test" rejects valid quasiexperimental research designs, and the correlation between changes in prior test scores and current teacher value-added he documents is an artifact of estimating teacher value-added using prior test score data; and (3) his method of controlling for covariates yields inconsistent estimates of teachers' long-term effects, while quasi-experimental designs that do not rely on controls for observables yield estimates of teachers' long-term impacts similar to CFR's baseline results. We conclude that Rothstein's important replication study is entirely consistent with – and in fact reinforces – CFR's methods and results. Our conclusions match those of Bacher-Hicks, Kane, and Staiger (2014), who replicate both CFR's results and Rothstein's findings using data from Los Angeles and also conclude that Rothstein's results raise no concerns about CFR's analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Chetty, Raj & Friedman, John & Rockoff, Jonah, 2015. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers: Response to Rothstein (2014)," CEPR Discussion Papers 10768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10768
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jose Cuesta & Mario Negre & Ana Revenga & Maika Schmidt, 2018. "Tackling Income Inequality: What Works and Why?," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 26(1), pages 1-48, March.
    3. Matthew Skellern, 2017. "The Hospital as a Multi-Product Firm: The Effect of Hospital Competition on Value-Added Indicators of Clinical Quality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1484, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education policy; teacher effects; value-added models;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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