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ERIC Number: EJ797213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-7
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Scrutiny Heightens for "Value Added" Research Methods
Viadero, Debra
Education Week, v27 n36 p1, 12-13 May 2008
As value-added research designs gain in popularity and undergo increasing scrutiny, experts are beginning to wave cautionary flags about how best to make use of them in education. Value-added techniques for measuring student achievement appeal to administrators and policymakers at all levels of education because they quantify the gains that students make from one school year to the next rather than relying on reporting percentages of students who get passing or proficient scores at the end of the school year. Theoretically, that means that teachers or schools get credit only for the value they add to students' learning trajectories, and that they do not get penalized for any learning gaps that students bring with them on the first day of school. In an April 22-24 conference at the University of Wisconsin, researchers from a variety of academic disciplines presented studies that both bolstered the method's credibility and introduced caveats about its usefulness in schools. One reason that some researchers are skeptical about using the methodology to reward or punish teachers is that the results can vary sharply over time. Missing test-score data, an issue with any standardized assessment system, can also pose particular problems with value-added models because they rely on data from several school years, thus compounding the overall amount of data that will be missing, according to experts.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001