Using School Choice Lotteries to Test Measures of School Effectiveness

15 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2014

See all articles by David James Deming

David James Deming

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: January 2014

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

Deming, David James, Using School Choice Lotteries to Test Measures of School Effectiveness (January 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19803. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2380435

David James Deming (Contact Author)

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

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

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