Vanderbilt University Peabody College
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203
Institutional Affiliation: Vanderbilt University
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2019||Teacher Effects on Student Achievement and Height: A Cautionary Tale|
with Marianne Bitler, Thurston Domina, Emily Penner: w26480
Estimates of teacher “value-added” suggest teachers vary substantially in their ability to promote student learning. Prompted by this finding, many states and school districts have adopted value-added measures as indicators of teacher job performance. In this paper, we conduct a new test of the validity of value-added models. Using administrative student data from New York City, we apply commonly estimated value-added models to an outcome teachers cannot plausibly affect: student height. We find the standard deviation of teacher effects on height is nearly as large as that for math and reading achievement, raising obvious questions about validity. Subsequent analysis finds these “effects” are largely spurious variation (noise), rather than bias resulting from sorting on unobserved factors ...
|March 2018||Leveling the Playing Field for High School Choice: Results from a Field Experiment of Informational Interventions|
with Jennifer L. Jennings, Sarah R. Cohodes, Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj: w24471
We conducted a field experiment in 165 high-poverty New York City middle schools to help students navigate a complex high school choice process and access higher-performing schools. Students in treatment schools were given a customized one-page list of proximate high schools with a graduation rate at or above the city median (70%). Some also received a supplemental list highlighting academically non-selective schools or high schools organized by academic interest area. The interventions changed student application behavior in ways that led to more matches to higher-performing schools. While treatment students did not apply to higher graduation rate schools, they applied to schools where their odds of admission were higher, were more likely to receive their first-choice high school, and wer...
|June 2010||Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education|
with William N. Evans: w16097
Using a panel of U.S. school districts spanning 1970 - 2000, we examine the relationship between income inequality and fiscal support for public education. In contrast with recent theoretical and empirical work suggesting a negative relationship between inequality and public spending, we find results consistent with a median voter model, in which inequality that reduces the median voter's tax share induces higher local spending on public education. We estimate that 12 to 22 percent of the increase in local school spending over this period is attributable to rising inequality.
|September 2002||Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992|
with William N. Evans, Robert S. Schwab: w9180
School officials and policy makers have grown increasingly concerned about their ability to attract and retain talented teachers. A number of authors have shown that in recent years the brightest students at least those with the highest verbal and math scores on standardized tests are less likely to enter teaching. In addition, it is frequently claimed that the ability of schools to attract these top students has been steadily declining for years. There is, however, surprisingly little evidence measuring the extent to which this popular proposition is true. We have good reason to suspect that the quality of those entering teaching has fallen over time. Teaching has remained a predominately female profession for years; at the same time, the employment opportunities for talented women ou...
Published: Corcoran, Sean P., William N. Evans and Robert M. Schwab. "Changing Labor-Market Opportunities For Women And The Quality Of Teachers, 1957-2000," American Economic Review, 2004, v94(2,May), 230-235.