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Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations

The specifics of how growth models should be constructed and used to evaluate schools and teachers is a topic of lively policy debate in states and school districts nationwide. In this paper we take up the question of model choice and examine three competing approaches. The first approach, reflected in the popular student growth percentiles (SGPs) framework, eschews all controls for student covariates and schooling environments. The second approach, typically associated with value-added models (VAMs), controls for student background characteristics and aims to identify the causal effects of schools and teachers. The third approach, also VAM-based, fully levels the playing field so that the correlation between school- and teacher-level growth measures and student demographics is essentially zero. We argue that the third approach is the most desirable for use in educational evaluation systems. Our case rests on personnel economics, incentive-design theory, and the potential role that growth measures can play in improving instruction in K-12 schools.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1210.

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Length: 29 pgs.
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1210
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  1. 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.
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  4. Cory Koedel & Rebecca Leatherman & Eric Parsons, 2012. "Test Measurement Error and Inference from Value-Added Models," Working Papers 1201, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  5. 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.
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  8. Gadi Barlevy & Derek Neal, 2011. "Pay for Percentile," NBER Working Papers 17194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cory Koedel & Mark Ehlert & Eric Parsons & Michael Podgursky & P. Brett Xiang, 2014. "Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations," Working Papers 1401, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  10. Cory Koedel & Julian Betts, 2009. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Working Papers 0902, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  11. 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.
  12. Sass, Tim R. & Hannaway, Jane & Xu, Zeyu & Figlio, David N. & Feng, Li, 2012. "Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower poverty schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 104-122.
  13. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2012. "Algebra for 8th Graders: Evidence on its Effects from 10 North Carolina Districts," NBER Working Papers 18649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2009. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 15323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2015. "School governance, teacher incentives, and pupil–teacher ratios: Experimental evidence from Kenyan primary schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 92-110.
  16. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2012. "The Distribution of Teacher Quality and Implications for Policy," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 131-157, 07.
  17. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dan Goldhaber & Duncan Chaplin, 2012. "Assessing the Rothstein Test: Does It Really Show Teacher Value-Added Models Are Biased?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 77f489fc94a34a0e96a42c419, Mathematica Policy Research.
  19. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Student Sorting and Bias in Value Added Estimation: Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Working Papers 1054, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  20. Eric A. Hanushek & EJohn F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2004. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  21. Cory Koedel & Jason A. Grissom & Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky, 2011. "Pension-Induced Rigidities in the Labor Market for School Leaders," Working Papers 1115, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  22. Thomas J. Kane & Jonah E. Rockoff & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 12155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-71, May.
  24. 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.
  25. Eric S. Taylor & John H. Tyler, 2011. "The Effect of Evaluation on Performance: Evidence from Longitudinal Student Achievement Data of Mid-career Teachers," NBER Working Papers 16877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Betts, Julian R, 1995. "Does School Quality Matter? Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 231-50, May.
  27. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1990. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws And Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Result," Working Papers 90-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  28. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  29. Harris, Douglas N. & Sass, Tim R., 2014. "Skills, productivity and the evaluation of teacher performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 183-204.
  30. Dale Ballou, 2009. "Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-383, October.
  31. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2012. "The Aftermath of Accelerating Algebra: Evidence from a District Policy Initiative," NBER Working Papers 18161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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