University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

OEP Weekly Links: February 16, 2011

In OWL-OEP Weekly Links on March 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

We recently released a policy brief on value-added measures of teacher or school effectiveness – a topic that is prompting a great deal of discussion in K-12 education policy circles. This debate reached a boiling point last year when the Los Angeles Times published a database of of the value-added scores for all teachers in the nation’s second largest school district. Proponents argue value-added models provide important information on school and teacher effectiveness. Opponents argue value-added measures are imprecise instruments which measure student background instead of teacher of school quality. The purpose of this week’s policy brief is to provide readers with a general understanding of the concept of a value-added measure as well as the potential benefits and perils of more widespread use of such value-added measures. In the end, we suggest that value-added models, combined with other measures of effectiveness such as improved principal observations, have the potential to be a substantial improvement over the current practices of teacher evaluation in most schools.

Tell us what you think about your own experience, knowledge or opinions about value-added measures in K-12 education. Is it a good idea? Is it flawed? If it is flawed now, is it possible that we could “get it right”  in the future?

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