Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2017An Evaluation of Bias in Three Measures of Teacher Quality: Value-Added, Classroom Observations, and Student Surveys
with Mark J. Chin, Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger: w23478
There are three primary measures of teaching performance: student test-based measures (i.e., value added), classroom observations, and student surveys. Although all three types of measures could be biased by unmeasured traits of the students in teachers’ classrooms, prior research has largely focused on the validity of value-added measures. We conduct an experiment involving 66 mathematics teachers in four school districts and test the validity of all three types of measures. Specifically, we test whether a teacher’s performance on each measure under naturally occurring (i.e., non-experimental) settings predicts performance following random assignment of that teacher to a class of students. Combining our results with those from two previous experiments, we provide further evidence that val...
November 2014Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles
with Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger: w20657
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 mechanica...
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