Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles

42 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2014 Last revised: 11 Nov 2014

See all articles by Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Harvard University

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Douglas Staiger

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

In a widely cited study, Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff (2014a; hereafter CFR) evaluate the degree of bias in teacher value-added estimates using a novel "teacher switching" research design with data from New York City. They conclude that there is little to no bias in their estimates. Using the same model with data from North Carolina, Rothstein (2014) argued that the CFR research design is invalid, given a relationship between student baseline test scores and teachers' value-added. In this paper, we replicated the CFR analysis using data from the Los Angeles Unified School District and similarly found that teacher value-added estimates were valid predictors of student achievement. We also demonstrate that Rothstein's test does not invalidate the CFR design and instead reflects a mechanical relationship, given that teacher value-added scores from prior years and baseline test scores can be based on the same data. In addition, we explore the (1) predictive validity of value-added estimates drawn from the same, similar, and different schools, (2) an alternative way of estimating differences in access to effective teaching by taking teacher experience into account, and (3) the implications of alternative ways of imputing value-added when it cannot be estimated directly.

Suggested Citation

Bacher-Hicks, Andrew and Kane, Thomas J. and Staiger, Douglas, Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles (November 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20657. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2521416

Andrew Bacher-Hicks (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Douglas Staiger

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-643-2979 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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