ERIC Number: EJ863334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Would Accountability Based on Teacher Value Added Be Smart Policy? An Examination of the Statistical Properties and Policy Alternatives
Harris, Douglas N.
Education Finance and Policy, v4 n4 p319-350 Fall 2009
Annual student testing may make it possible to measure the contributions to student achievement made by individual teachers. But would these "teacher value-added" measures help to improve student achievement? I consider the statistical validity, purposes, and costs of teacher value-added policies. Many of the key assumptions of teacher value added are rejected by empirical evidence. However, the assumption violations may not be severe, and value-added measures still seem to contain useful information. I also compare teacher value-added accountability with three main policy alternatives: teacher credentials, school value-added accountability, and formative uses of test data. I argue that using teacher value-added measures is likely to increase student achievement more efficiently than a teacher credentials-only strategy but may not be the most cost-effective policy overall. Resolving this issue will require a new research and policy agenda that goes beyond analysis of assumptions and statistical properties and focuses on the effects of actual policy alternatives.
Descriptors: Credentials, Educational Testing, Educational Policy, Policy Analysis, Educational Improvement, Teacher Role, Formative Evaluation, Evaluation Methods, Statistical Analysis, Accountability, Cost Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A