Panel: Effects of Educational Accountability Policies

Thursday, November 6, 2014: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Aztec (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Seth Gershenson, American University
Panel Chairs:  Michael Hansen, American Institutes for Research
Discussants:  David Deming, Harvard University

The Impact of Accountability on Teacher Academic Ability, Encouraging Long Term Evidence
Andrew McEachin1, Susanna Loeb2, Hamilton Lankford3, Luke C. Miller4 and Jim Wyckoff4, (1)North Carolina State University, (2)Stanford University, (3)State University of New York, Albany, (4)University of Virginia

When Incentives Matter Too Much: Explaining Significant Responses to Irrelevant Information
Tom Ahn, University of Kentucky and Jacob Vigdor, University of Washington

From the state-level standards-based accountability policies introduced in the 1990s to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to more recent initiatives such as the Race to the Top and the Common Core, education policy in the United States has increasingly relied on high-stakes assessments of students, teachers, and schools to improve student outcomes. However, this pressure to improve student achievement has in some instances prompted unintended responses from schools and teachers that undermine the policies’ objectives. Moreover, the mechanisms through which such policies improve student outcomes remain unclear. Accordingly, understanding how schools and teachers respond to evidence-based accountability policies and which, if any, long-run student outcomes are improved by such policies is crucial for policy makers seeking to improve future iterations of education policy. The proposed panel consists of four papers that use rich administrative data and rigorous analytical methods to further our understanding of how evidence-based accountability policies affect student, teacher, and school behavior as well as the mechanisms through which such effects operate.
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