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

58 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2013

See all articles by Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty

Harvard University

John Friedman

Brown University

John N. Friedman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jonah E. Rockoff

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Chetty, Raj and Friedman, John and Friedman, John Norton and Rockoff, Jonah E., Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates (September 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19423. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2325796

Raj Chetty (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John Friedman

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

John Norton Friedman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jonah E. Rockoff

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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