Does the Teacher Beat the Test? The Additional Value of Teacher Assessment in Predicting Student Ability

59 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015

See all articles by Eva Feron

Eva Feron

Maastricht University

Trudie Schils

Maastricht University, Dept Economics; Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies

Bas ter Weel

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

This research investigates to what extent subjective teacher assessment of children's ability adds to the use of test scores in the explanation of children's outcomes in the transition from elementary to secondary school in terms of initial track allocation, track switching in the first three years of secondary education and subsequent test scores. We apply micro-data from the Netherlands about cognitive test scores and teacher assessment in elementary schools and about track placement, track switching and test scores in secondary schools. Our estimates suggest that subjective teacher assessment is about twice as important as the elementary school cognitive test scores for initial track placement in secondary school. In addition, teacher assessment is more predictive of track allocation in 9th grade compared to cognitive test scores. Next, children who switch tracks are more likely to be placed in tracks based on test scores. Also, test scores in 9th grade are predicted by subjective teacher assessment, not by test scores in 6th grade. Finally, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that switching could be reduced by at least ten percent if children would have been allocated according to the teacher's assessment.

Keywords: test scores, teacher assessment, school careers

JEL Classification: I21, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Feron, Eva and Schils, Trudie and ter Weel, Bas, Does the Teacher Beat the Test? The Additional Value of Teacher Assessment in Predicting Student Ability. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8768. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2554916

Eva Feron (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Trudie Schils

Maastricht University, Dept Economics ( email )

P.O.Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 43 3883891 (Phone)
+31 43 3884150 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.trudieschils.nl

Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies ( email )

PLantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 5254199 (Phone)
+31 20 5254301 (Fax)

Bas Ter Weel

University of Amsterdam - SEO Economic Research ( email )

Roetersstraat 29
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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