Caution Urged in Using 'Value Added' Evaluations
Scholars say districts must be more careful
Top researchers studying new “value added” or “growth index” models for measuring a teacher’s contribution to student achievement completely agree on only one thing: These methods should be used in staff-evaluation systems with more care than they have been so far.
That area of agreement emerged in an Aug. 9 meeting that drew together a who’s who of a dozen of the nation’s top education researchers on value-added methods—in areas from education to economics—to build, if not consensus, at least familiarity within a disparate research community for value-added systems. The U.S. Department of Education’s research agency, which organized the forum, last week released the proceedings of the meeting, as well as individual briefs from each of the experts.
“There’s been a huge amount of research in this field in recent years, but it tends to be really siloed,” John Q. Easton, the director of the Institute of Education Sciences, told members of the National Board for Education Sciences, IES’s advisory group, during a briefing earlier this month. “People don’t seem to read each other’s work, and it’s published in totally different journals. It was so typical to read somebody’s study who was not...
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