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ERIC Number: ED518225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
Evaluating Value-Added Methods of Estimating of Teacher Performance
Guarino, Cassandra M.; Reckase, Mark D.; Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Accurate indicators of educational effectiveness are needed to advance national policy goals of raising student achievement and closing social/cultural based achievement gaps. If constructed and used appropriately, such indicators for both program evaluation and the evaluation of teacher and school performance could have a transformative effect on the nature and outcomes of teaching and learning. Measures based on value-added models of student achievement (VAMs) are gaining increasing acceptance among policymakers as an improvement over conventional indicators of performance. This paper is the first in a series of papers that aims to resolve controversies surrounding VAMs. The authors' research question is: How well do different estimators perform in estimating teacher effects in a commonly used VAM framework? The authors focus their study on six estimators--most of which are commonly used in the research literature and in policy applications involving teacher effects. They answer their research questions by first outlining the assumptions that must be met for each estimator to have good statistical properties in the context of a fairly common theoretical framework. They then apply the estimators to the task of recovering teacher effects in simulated data. They apply the estimators to different types of data, where each data set is generated to violate or maintain specific assumptions in the attempt to mimic different types of student grouping and teacher assignment scenarios, and compare their performance. They use simulated data and conduct the research at Michigan State University. It is clear from this study that many VAMs hold promise: they may be capable of overcoming obstacles presented by non-random assignment and provide valuable information. Given their context-dependency, however, caution must be applied in interpreting the findings that VAMs, as currently applied in practice and in the research literature, are producing. They may best be viewed as suggestive evidence of effects, at this point. In addition, methods of constructing estimates of teacher effects that they can trust for high-stakes evaluative purposes must be further studied. Clearly, although value-added measures of teacher performance hold promise, before they can be used for policy purposes, more research is needed. There is much left to investigate. (Contains 3 tables.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Michigan