ERIC Number: ED485184
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Teachers Matter: Evidence from Value-Added Assessments. Research Points, Volume 2, Issue 2, Summer 2004
American Educational Research Association
Today's accountability systems place the blame on schools for inadequate student academic achievement, which seems unfair to many people. They believe that family background and the socioeconomic mix of students in the classroom exert such a strong influence on student learning that teachers and schools can have only a limited effect. Important research from the 1960s appeared to bolster that view, but recent studies show clearly that a student can learn more from one teacher than from another and that teachers and schools matter. So the question now is not whether schools and teachers can make a difference, but how much they affect student learning. A teacher's impact on student achievement can range from small but meaningful to huge. To help quantify that influence, a new approach to teacher performance research, called "value added" assessment, focuses on gains in academic achievement over a given year that can be attributed to a district, a school, or an individual teacher. Those gains are the "value" that teachers, schools, and districts add. The improvement in student performance from year to year is what matters most, not the overall achievement score on a test. Value-added assessment proves that very good teaching can boost student learning and that family background does not determine a student's destiny. Students taught by highly effective teachers several years in a row earn higher test scores than students assigned to particularly ineffective teachers.
Descriptors: Family Characteristics, Accountability, Academic Achievement, Teacher Effectiveness, Achievement Gains, Achievement Tests, Scores, Instructional Effectiveness, Teacher Role
American Educational Research Association, 1230 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-223-9485; Fax:202-775-1824. Web site: http://www.aera.net.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.