Harvard Kennedy School
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Cambridge, MA 02138
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||The School to Prison Pipeline: Long-Run Impacts of School Suspensions on Adult Crime|
with Stephen B. Billings, David J. Deming: w26257
Schools face important policy tradeoffs in monitoring and managing student behavior. Strict discipline policies may stigmatize suspended students and expose them to the criminal justice system at a young age. On the other hand, strict discipline acts as a deterrent and limits harmful spillovers of misbehavior onto other students. This paper estimates the net impact of school discipline on student achievement, educational attainment and adult criminal activity. Using exogenous variation in school assignment caused by a large and sudden boundary change and a supplementary design based on principal switches, we show that schools with higher suspension rates have substantial negative long-run impacts. Students assigned to a school that has a one standard deviation higher suspension rate are 15...
|June 2017||An 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 2014||Validating 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...