On Teacher Effect vs. Other Stuff in New Jersey’s Growth Percentiles

June 2, 2014


PDF: BBaker.SGPs_and_OtherStuff In this post, I estimate a series of models to evaluate variation in New Jersey’s school median growth percentile measures. These measures of student growth are intended by the New Jersey Department of Education to serve as measures of both school and teacher effectiveness. That is, the effect that teachers and schools have […]

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The Cuomology of State Aid (or Tales from Lake Flaccid)

May 1, 2014


We’ve heard much bluster over time about school funding in New York State, and specifically how money certainly has no role in the policy debate over how to fix New York State schools, unless it has to do with providing more money to charter schools, or decrying the fact that district schools statewide are substantially […]

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Uncommon Denominators: Understanding “Per Pupil” Spending

April 30, 2014


This post is another in my series on data issues in education policy. The point of this post is to encourage readers of education policy research to pay closer attention to the fact that any measure of “per pupil spending” contains two parts – a measure of “spending” in the numerator and a measure of […]

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On “Dropout Factories” & (Fraudulent) Graduation Rates in NJ

April 29, 2014


This NJ Star Ledger piece the other day reminded me of an issue I’ve been wanting to check out for some time now. I’m skeptical of graduation rates as a measure of student outcomes to begin with, because, of course, graduation can be strongly influenced by local norms and practices. As such, it’s really hard […]

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Welcome to Relay Medical College & North Star Community Hospital

April 26, 2014


Arne Duncan has one whopper of an interview available here: http://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/better-preparing-our-nations-educators-237066307522 Related to his new push to evaluate teacher preparation programs using student outcome data: http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/arne-ology-the-bad-incentives-of-evaluating-teacher-prep-with-student-outcome-data/ And his Whitehouse press release can be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/25/fact-sheet-taking-action-improve-teacher-preparation Now, there’s a whole lot to chew on here, but let me focus on one of the more absurd […]

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Arne-Ology & the Bad Incentives of Evaluating Teacher Prep with Student Outcome Data

April 25, 2014


As I understand it, USDOE is going to go ahead with the push to have teacher preparation programs rated in part based on the student growth outcomes of children taught by individuals receiving credentials from those programs. Now, the layers of problems associated with this method are many and I’ve addressed them previously here and […]

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The Endogeneity of the Equitable Distribution of Teachers: Or, why do the girls get all the good teachers?

April 18, 2014


Recently, the Center for American Progress (disclosure: I have a report coming out through them soon) released a report in which they boldly concluded, based on data on teacher ratings from Massachusetts and Louisiana, that teacher quality is woefully inequitably distributed across children by the income status of those children. As evidence of these inequities, […]


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