Tag Archives: David Berliner

David Berliner: The fatal flaw of value added assessment

12 Jan

Educational psychologist David Berliner has published a paper on value added assessment of teachers. His conclusion:

 

 “I conclude that because of the effects of countless exogenous variables on student classroom achievement, value-added assessments do not now and may never be stable enough from class to class or year to year to be used in evaluating teachers. The hope is that with three or more years of value-added data, the identification of extremely good and bad teachers might be possible; but, that goal is not assured, and empirical results suggest that it really is quite hard to reliably identify extremely good and extremely bad groups of teachers. In fact, when picking extremes among teachers, both luck and regression to the mean will combine with the interactions of many variables to produce instability in the value-added scores that are obtained. Examination of the apparently simple policy goal of identifying the best and worst teachers in a school system reveals a morally problematic and psychometrically inadequate base for those policies. In fact, the belief that there are thousands of consistently inadequate teachers may be like the search for welfare queens and disability scam artists—more sensationalism than it is reality.”

 

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