NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Mark J. Chin

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Center for Education Policy Research
50 Church St., 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2017School District Reform in Newark: Within- and Between-School Changes in Achievement Growth
with Thomas J. Kane, Whitney Kozakowski, Beth E. Schueler, Douglas O. Staiger: w23922
In 2011-12, Newark launched a set of educational reforms supported by a gift from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Using data from 2009 through 2016, we evaluate the change in Newark students’ achievement growth relative to similar students and schools elsewhere in New Jersey. We measure achievement growth using a “value-added” model, controlling for prior achievement, demographics and peer characteristics. By the fifth year of reform, Newark saw statistically significant gains in English and no significant change in math achievement growth. Perhaps due to the disruptive nature of the reforms, growth declined initially before rebounding in recent years. Aided by the closure of low value-added schools, much of the improvement was due to shifting enrollment from lower- to hi...
June 2017An Evaluation of Bias in Three Measures of Teacher Quality: Value-Added, Classroom Observations, and Student Surveys
with Andrew Bacher-Hicks, 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...
 
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