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

  • Cory Koedel
  • Julian Betts

Value-added measures of teacher quality may be sensitive to the quantitative properties of the student tests upon which they are based. This paper 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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14778.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14778.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Publication status: published as Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2010. "Value Added to What? How a Ceiling in the Testing Instrument Influences Value-Added Estimation," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 54-81, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14778
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  1. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Horowitz, J. & Gorgens, T., 1995. "Semiparametric Estimation of a Censored Regression Model with an Unknown Transformation of the Dependent Variable," Working Papers 95-15, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Hurd, Michael, 1979. "Estimation in truncated samples when there is heteroscedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 247-258.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Cory Koedel, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of Teacher Spillover Effects in Secondary School," Working Papers 0808, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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