Catching Cheating Teachers: The Results of an Unusual Experiment in Implementing Theory

34 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2003 Last revised: 31 Oct 2010

See all articles by Brian Jacob

Brian Jacob

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

Steven D. Levitt

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

This paper reports on the results of a prospective implementation of methods for detecting teacher cheating. In Spring 2002, over 100 Chicago Public Schools elementary classrooms were selected for retesting based on the cheating detection algorithm. Classrooms prospectively identified as likely cheaters experienced large test score declines. In contrast, classes that had large test score gains on the original test, but were prospectively identified as being unlikely to have cheated, maintained their original gains. Randomly selected classrooms also maintained their gains. The cheating detection tools were thus demonstrated to be effective in distinguishing between classrooms that achieved large test-score gains as a consequence of cheating versus those whose gains were the result of outstanding teaching. In addition, the data generated by the implementation experiment highlight numerous ways in which the original cheating detection methods can be improved in the future.

Suggested Citation

Jacob, Brian and Levitt, Steven D., Catching Cheating Teachers: The Results of an Unusual Experiment in Implementing Theory (January 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9414. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=366451

Brian Jacob (Contact Author)

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

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Steven D. Levitt

University of Chicago ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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American Bar Foundation

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