Serious questions about value added assessments of teachers

3 Dec

The Educational Testing Service has released a paper by Edward Haertel, the Jacks Family Professor of Education at Stanford University, raising serious questions about value added assessments of teaching. Here is the abstract:

“Policymakers and school administrators have embraced value-added models of teacher effectiveness as tools for educational improvement. Teacher value-added estimates may be viewed as complicated scores of a certain kind. This suggests using a test validation model to examine their reliability and validity. Validation begins with an interpretive argument for inferences or actions based on value-added scores. That argument addresses (a) the meaning of the scores themselves — whether they measure the intended construct; (b) their generalizability — whether the results are stable from year to year or using different student tests, for example; and (c) the relation of value-added scores to broader notions of teacher effectiveness — whether teachers’ effectiveness in raising test scores can serve as a proxy for other aspects of teaching quality. Next, the interpretive argument directs attention to rationales for the expected benefits of particular value-added score uses or interpretations, as well as plausible unintended consequences. This kind of systematic analysis raises serious questions about some popular policy prescriptions based on teacher value-added scores.”

This is bracing report and should be read by anyone who is connected with efforts to implement value added reforms. The emperor has no clothes and we should be unafraid to say so.

My critique of value added assessment can be found here.

2 Responses to “Serious questions about value added assessments of teachers”

  1. susanrakow December 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    It seems as though the time has come for parents, students, teachers, teacher educators and others concerned with the true values of education to stand up and be counted and protest this lunacy. Thanks for sharing this important information. It needs to be forwarded to those legislators who make educational decisions based on corporate profit (ETS, Pearson and others). Though they tout “data-based decision making”, they don’t really want to look at ALL the data.


  1. David Berliner: The fatal flaw of value added assessment | peakmemory - January 12, 2014

    […] Serious questions about value added assessments of teachers […]

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