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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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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
Date of revision:
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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  11. 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, March.
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