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Does the Precision and Stability of Value-Added Estimates of Teacher Performance Depend on the Types of Students They Serve?

  • Stacy, Brian

    ()

    (Michigan State University)

  • Guarino, Cassandra

    ()

    (Indiana University)

  • Reckase, Mark D.

    ()

    (Michigan State University)

  • Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.

    ()

    (Michigan State University)

This paper investigates how the precision and stability of a teacher's value-added estimate relates to the characteristics of the teacher's students. Using a large administrative data set and a variety of teacher value-added estimators, it finds that the stability over time of teacher value-added estimates can depend on the previous achievement level of a teacher's students. The differences are large in magnitude and statistically significant. The year-to-year stability level of teacher value-added estimates are typically 25% to more than 50% larger for teachers serving initially higher performing students compared to teachers with initially lower performing students. In addition, some differences are detected even when the number of student observations is artificially set to the same level and the data are pooled across two years to compute teacher value-added. Finally, the paper offers a policy simulation which demonstrates that teachers who face students with certain characteristics may be differentially likely to be the recipient of sanctions in a high stakes policy based on value-added estimates and more likely to see their estimates vary from year-to-year due to low stability.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7676.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7676
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  1. Guarino, Cassandra & Reckase, Mark D. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2012. "Can Value-Added Measures of Teacher Performance Be Trusted?," IZA Discussion Papers 6602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, June.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2008. "Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 101-136.
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