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Using School Choice Lotteries to Test Measures of School Effectiveness

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  • David J. Deming

Abstract

Value-added models (VAMs) are increasingly used to measure school effectiveness. Yet random variation in school attendance is necessary to test the validity of VAMs, and to guide the selection of models for measuring causal effects of schools. In this paper, I use random assignment from a public school choice lottery to test the predictive power of VAM specifications. In VAMs with minimal controls and two or more years of prior data, I fail to reject the hypothesis that school effects are unbiased. Overall, many commonly used VAMs are accurate predictors of student achievement gains.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Deming, 2014. "Using School Choice Lotteries to Test Measures of School Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 19803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
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    8. David J. Deming & Sarah Cohodes & Jennifer Jennings & Christopher Jencks, 2016. "School Accountability, Postsecondary Attainment, and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 848-862, December.
    9. Donald B. Rubin & Elizabeth A. Stuart & Elaine L. Zanutto, 2004. "A Potential Outcomes View of Value-Added Assessment in Education," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 29(1), pages 103-116, March.
    10. Daniel F. McCaffrey & J. R. Lockwood & Daniel Koretz & Thomas A. Louis & Laura Hamilton, 2004. "Models for Value-Added Modeling of Teacher Effects," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 29(1), pages 67-101, March.
    11. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters And Pilots," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 699-748.
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    Cited by:

    1. Crawfurd, Lee, 2017. "School Management and Public-Private Partnerships in Uganda," MPRA Paper 79923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Akyol, Pelin & Krishna, Kala, 2017. "Preferences, selection, and value added: A structural approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 89-117.
    4. Tommaso Agasisti & Veronica Minaya, 2018. "Evaluating the Stability of School Performance Estimates for School Choice: Evidence for Italian Primary Schools," Working papers 67, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:2:p:871-919. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Joshua Angrist & Peter Hull & Parag Pathak & Christopher Walters, 2016. "Interpreting Tests of School VAM Validity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 388-392, May.
    7. Koedel, Cory & Mihaly, Kata & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2015. "Value-added modeling: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-195.
    8. Hanley Chiang & Stephen Lipscomb & Brian Gill, 2014. "Is School Value Added Indicative of Principal Quality?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a11ab111ac3a497885e0a736f, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Carlson, Deven & Lavertu, Stéphane, 2016. "Charter school closure and student achievement: Evidence from Ohio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 31-48.
    10. Hanley Chiang & Stephen Lipscomb & Brian Gill, 2016. "Is School Value Added Indicative of Principal Quality?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 283-309, Summer.
    11. Clement de Chaisemartin & Luc Behaghel, 2015. "Next please! Estimating the effect of treatments allocated by randomized waiting lists," Papers 1511.01453, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2017.
    12. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Andrew Bacher-Hicks & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2014. "Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles," NBER Working Papers 20657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2017. "Leveraging Lotteries for School Value-Added: Testing and Estimation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 871-919.
    15. Kortelainen, Mika & Manninen, Kalle, 2018. "Effectiveness of Private and Public High Schools: Evidence from Finland," Working Papers 108, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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