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ERIC Number: EJ839253
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0272-7757
Selection Bias in College Admissions Test Scores
Clark, Melissa; Rothstein, Jesse; Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore
Economics of Education Review, v28 n3 p295-307 Jun 2009
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. (Contains 2 figures and 6 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail: usjcs@elsevier.com; Web site: http://www.elsevier.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment; SAT (College Admission Test)