NotesFAQContact Us
Collection
Advanced
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED502508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 1
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Selection Bias in College Admissions Test Scores. NBER Working Paper No. 14265
Clark, Melissa; Rothstein, Jesse; Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore
National Bureau of Economic Research
Data from college admissions tests can provide a valuable measure of student achievement, but the non-representativeness of test-takers is an important concern. We examine selectivity bias in both state-level and school-level SAT and ACT averages. The degree of selectivity may differ importantly across and within schools, and across and within states. To identify within-state selectivity, we use a control function approach that conditions on scores from a representative test. Estimates indicate strong selectivity of test-takers in "ACT states," where most college-bound students take the ACT, and much less selectivity in SAT states. To identify within- and between-school selectivity, we take advantage of a policy reform in Illinois that made taking the ACT a graduation requirement. Estimates based on this policy change indicate substantial positive selection into test participation both across and within schools. Despite this, school-level averages of observed scores are extremely highly correlated with average latent scores, as across-school variation in sample selectivity is small relative to the underlying signal. As a result, in most contexts the use of observed school mean test scores in place of latent means understates the degree of between-school variation in achievement but is otherwise unlikely to lead to misleading conclusions.
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site: http://www.nber.org/cgi-bin/get_bars.pl?bar=pub
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)