[gov3009-l] Jacobs Talk

Shigeo Hirano shirano@fas.harvard.edu
Fri, 8 Mar 2002 10:04:31 -0500 (EST)

Hi Everyone,

This coming Wednesday, Brian Jacobs, an assistant professor at the Kennedy
School, will present his paper with Steve Levitt entitled, "Rotten Apples:
An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating".
The paper will be posted later this afternoon.  The abstract of the paper
is given below.

See you all Wednesday!


Shigeo Hirano                     Political Economy and Government
shirano@fas.harvard.edu                         Harvard University


We develop an algorithm for detecting teacher cheating that combines
information on unexpected test score fluctuations and suspicious patterns
of answers for students in a classroom.  Using data from the Chicago
Public Schools, we estimate that serious cases of teacher or administrator
cheating on standardized tests occur in 4-5 percent of elementary school
classrooms annually.  Moreover, the observed frequency of cheating appears
to respond strongly to relatively minor changes in incentives.  Our
results suggest that introducing high-stakes testing without appropriate
safeguards will likely lead to widespread cheating.