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Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations

Cory Koedel, Mark Ehlert (), Eric Parsons () and Michael Podgursky

No 1210, Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Missouri

Abstract: The specifics of how growth models should be constructed and used to evaluate schools and teachers is a topic of lively policy debate in states and school districts nationwide. In this paper we take up the question of model choice and examine three competing approaches. The first approach, reflected in the popular student growth percentiles (SGPs) framework, eschews all controls for student covariates and schooling environments. The second approach, typically associated with value-added models (VAMs), controls for student background characteristics and aims to identify the causal effects of schools and teachers. The third approach, also VAM-based, fully levels the playing field so that the correlation between school- and teacher-level growth measures and student demographics is essentially zero. We argue that the third approach is the most desirable for use in educational evaluation systems. Our case rests on personnel economics, incentive-design theory, and the potential role that growth measures can play in improving instruction in K-12 schools.

Keywords: Teacher evaluation; school evaluation; value-added models; value-added versus SGP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2012-08-17
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Working Paper: Selecting Growth Measures for School and Teacher Evaluations (2014) Downloads
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