NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Jonah E. Rockoff

NBER Working Paper No. 19423
Issued in September 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS   PE

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.

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This paper was revised on May 7, 2014

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19423

Published: Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2593-2632, September. citation courtesy of

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