Value-Added to What? How a Ceiling in the Testing Instrument Influences Value-Added Estimation

43 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2009 Last revised: 20 May 2021

See all articles by Cory Koedel

Cory Koedel

University of Missouri - Economics

Julian R. Betts

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; Public Policy Institute of California

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Koedel, Cory and Betts, Julian R., Value-Added to What? How a Ceiling in the Testing Instrument Influences Value-Added Estimation (March 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14778, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1359474

Cory Koedel (Contact Author)

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Julian R. Betts

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