What We Know NowDescription:

Value-​added describes sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els designed to mea­sure school and teacher effec­tive­ness includ­ing con­sid­er­a­tions of class­room and stu­dent vari­ables includ­ing stu­dent achieve­ment on stan­dard­ized edu­ca­tional mea­sures, stu­dent achieve­ment growth, prior stu­dent achieve­ment and demo­graphic data.


DPI is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing changes in account­abil­ity mea­sures for dis­tricts, schools, and indi­vid­ual teach­ers. Value-​added mod­els are designed to mit­i­gate valid­ity con­cerns within the eval­u­a­tion sys­tems for edu­ca­tors and schools by fac­tor­ing con­sid­er­a­tions beyond sin­gu­lar mea­sures from stan­dard­ized tests. These fac­tors include bench­mark attain­ment data sim­i­lar to that which we have become accus­tomed to with WKCE, stu­dent growth mea­sures which take into con­sid­er­a­tion changes in indi­vid­ual stu­dent per­for­mance lev­els from one year to the next, and stu­dent char­ac­ter­is­tics such as socio-​economic sta­tus, race, gen­der, and spe­cial edu­ca­tion sta­tus. Value-​added esti­mates are not included in the Wis­con­sin School Dis­trict Per­for­mance Report, released in the sum­mer of 2012. These value-​added esti­mates, can how­ever, be accessed via the Secure Access File Exchange (SAFE) for school use. These value-​added mea­sures will also be used in the Edu­ca­tor Effec­tive­ness sys­tem once they become available.

Considerations or Implications:

The goal of “lev­el­ing the play­ing field” in terms of school and teacher eval­u­a­tions is admirable. On the sur­face, value-​added mod­els seem to address some of the inequities in these eval­u­a­tion sys­tems. Used judi­ciously, there is a great deal we can learn from well-​crafted value-​added mod­els. We must not, how­ever, lose sight on the con­cept of mul­ti­ple mea­sures of per­for­mance. Value-​added mod­els can be effec­tively used as part of a more holis­tic approach to mea­sur­ing school and teacher effectiveness.

In 2014, the entire state will be oper­at­ing under the Edu­ca­tor Effec­tive­ness Frame­work. Indi­vid­ual value-​added data on statewide stan­dard­ized assess­ments (cur­rently grades 37 read­ing and math) will be included in the over­all eval­u­a­tion frame­work. It is imper­a­tive that Wis­con­sin edu­ca­tors under­stand the value-​added mea­sures that will be included in their eval­u­a­tion. Sim­i­larly, school and dis­trict lead­ers must under­stand both the indi­vid­ual educator’s value-​added data and the school and dis­trict level value-​added data that will be part of their per­for­mance reports.

There are sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment con­sid­er­a­tions within the con­text of value-​added mea­sures. Focused pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment will be nec­es­sary to help edu­ca­tors gain the basic under­stand­ing of value-​added mea­sures pre­vi­ously men­tioned. Fur­ther­more, pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment focused on the intri­ca­cies of these mea­sures will be needed to under­stand the valid­ity of these mea­sures in respect to the sam­ple size from which the data is drawn. We offer a note of cau­tion when con­sid­er­ing value-​added mea­sures at the class­room level. Value-​added data can be a valu­able com­po­nent of an eval­u­a­tion sys­tem but must be con­sid­ered over time and in con­junc­tion with other data points. Fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion and research into the valid­ity and reli­a­bil­ity of value-​added mea­sures is highly rec­om­mended as the stakes for these mea­sures are increased.


David Gram­bow, Hud­son
WASCD Board of Directors

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