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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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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2012/WP1210_koedel.pdf
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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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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/
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  7. 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.
  8. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39 - 77.
  9. Cory Koedel & Jason A. Grissom & Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky, 2011. "Pension-Induced Rigidities in the Labor Market for School Leaders," CESifo Working Paper Series 3605, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. 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..
  11. 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.
  12. Timothy G. Conley & Christian B. Hansen & Peter E. Rossi, 2012. "Plausibly Exogenous," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 260-272, February.
  13. 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.
  14. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Dale Ballou, 2009. "Test Scaling and Value-Added Measurement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-383, October.
  23. Cory Koedel & Julian R. Betts, 2011. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 18-42, January.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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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