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

Authors
Raj Chetty,
John Friedman,
Jonah Rockoff
Year of publication
2014
Publication
American Economic Review
Volume/Issue
104 (9)
Pages
2593-2632

Are teachers' impacts on students' 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 teachers' 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 student's prior test scores exhibit little bias in forecasting teachers' impacts on student achievement.

Suggested Citation:

Chetty, R., Friedman, J., & Rockoff, J. (2014). Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates. American Economic Review, 104 (9), 2593-2632