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Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates

  • Raj Chetty
  • John N. Friedman
  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Are teachersʼ impacts on studentsʼ test scores ("value-added") a good measure of their quality? One reason this question has sparked debate is disagreement about whether value-added (VA) measures provide unbiased estimates of teachersʼ causal impacts on student achievement. We test for bias in VA using previously unobserved parent characteristics and a quasi-experimental design based on changes in teaching staff. Using school district and tax records for more than one million children, we find that VA models which control for a studentʼs prior test scores exhibit little bias in forecasting teachersʼ impacts on student achievement.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19423.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19423.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Publication status: published as Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2593-2632, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19423
Note: CH ED LS PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
  4. 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.
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