US experts say no to value-add
28th September 2009

As part of Rudd's education revolution, Julia Gillard argues that schools must be held accountable for performance.  Possible approaches include comparing like schools and value add - measuring the extent to which schools improve individual student performance over time.  In an open letter to the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, US experts argue that the effectiveness and validity of such approaches are far from proven, see the following extract related to concerns about value-add:

"However, BOTA has significant concerns that the Department’s proposal places too much emphasis on measures of growth in student achievement (1) that have not yet been adequately studied for the purposes of evaluating teachers and principals and (2) that face substantial practical barriers to being successfully deployed in an operational personnel system that is fair, reliable, and valid...

The most prominent way to measure student growth involves “value added” approaches that use results from earlier tests, as well as other information, to adjust new test scores for preexisting differences across students. The objective of these statistical techniques is to produce a measure of the “value added” to a student’s achievement by a teacher or a school in a given year.

The term “value-added model” (VAM) has been applied to a range of approaches, varying in their data requirements and statistical complexity. Although the idea has intuitive appeal, a great deal is unknown about the potential and the limitations of alternative statistical models for evaluating teachers’ value-added contributions to student learning.

BOTA agrees with other experts who have urged the need for caution and for further research prior to any large-scale, high-stakes reliance on these approaches (e.g., Braun, 2005; McCaffrey and Lockwood, 2008; McCaffrey et al., 2003)."

Click here for a copy of the letter

 

 

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US experts say no to value-add
28th September 2009
As part of Rudd's education revolution, Julia Gillard argues that schools must be held accountable for performance.  Possible approaches include comparing like schools and value add - measu...

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