National Center for Teacher Effectiveness

Cascio, E. U., & Staiger, D. O. (2012). Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Educational interventions are often evaluated and compared on the basis of their impacts on test scores. Decades of research have produced two empirical regularities: interventions in later grades tend to have smaller effects than the same interventions in earlier grades, and the test score impacts of early educational interventions almost universally “fade out” over time. This paper explores whether these empirical regularities are an artifact of the common practice of rescaling test scores in terms of a student’s position in a widening distribution of knowledge. If a standard deviation in test scores in later grades translates into a larger difference in knowledge, an intervention’s effect on normalized test scores may fall even as its effect on knowledge does not. We evaluate this hypothesis by fitting a model of education production to correlations in test scores across grades and with college-going using both administrative and survey data. Our results imply that the variance in knowledge does indeed rise as children progress through school, but not enough for test score normalization to fully explain these empirical regularities.

McGinn, D., Kelcey, B., Hill, H., & Chin, M. (Working Paper). Using Item Response Theory to Learn about Observational Instruments.Abstract

As many states are slated to soon use scores derived from classroom observation instruments in high-stakes decisions, developers must cultivate methods for improving the functioning of these instruments. We show how multidimensional, multilevel item response theory models can yield information critical for improving the performance of observational instruments.

Blazar, D., Gogolen, C., Hill, H. C., Humez, A., & Lynch, K. (2014). Predictors of Teachers' Instructional Practices.Abstract

We extend this line of research by investigating teacher career and background characteristics, personal resources, and school and district resources that predict an array of instructional practices identified on a mathematics-specific observational instrument, MQI, and a general instrument, CLASS. To understand these relationships, we use correlation and regression analyses. For a subset of teachers for whom we have data from multiple school years, we exploit within-teacher, cross-year variation to examine the relationship between class composition and instructional quality that is not confounded with the sorting of "better" students to "better" teachers. We conclude that multiple teacher- and school-level characteristics--rather than a single factor--are related to teachers' classroom practices.

2013 Apr 27

CEPR-Affiliated Sessions at AERA 2013

Sat Apr 27 (All day) to Wed May 1 (All day)


San Francisco, CA

CEPR affiliates are to present at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting 2013 from April 27–May 1 in San Francisco, CA. The theme of the event this year is “Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis.” CEPR presenters include researchers; steering committee members; and SDP Fellows, Alumni, and Faculty Advisors. The sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about some CEPR research, as well as research done outside of the center by its affiliates. View the list below to see the sessions that include the CEPR network.

Hill, H. (2014). Lessons Learned from Instruction | Results from a Study of Upper-Elementary Mathematics Classrooms. Beyond the Numbers Convening.Abstract

While research has generated substantial information regarding the characteristics of effective mathematics teachers and classrooms, scholars have rarely tested multiple aspects of teachers or teaching within a single study. Without testing multiple variables simultaneously, it is difficult to identify specific aspects of mathematics teachers and teaching that may be particularly impactful on student learning, and to understand the degree to which these characteristics are related to one another. This plenary draws on data from a three-year study measuring multiple components of teacher and teaching quality to investigate these issues.

Prioritizing Teaching Quality in a New System of Teacher Evalaution

November 11, 2011

National Center for Teacher Effectiveness (NCTE) leaders Heather Hill and Corinne Herlihy  emphasize the importance of focusing on the quality of teaching, and not "teacher quality," in the following article published in the Education Outlook Series by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Teachers are the most important school-level factor in student success—but as any parent knows, all teachers are not created equal. Reforms to the current quite cursory teacher evaluation system, if done well, have the potential to remove the...

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