Constructing Value-Added Measures for Teacher Evaluation: What We Should and Shouldn’t Worry About
Presented By: Cassandra Guarino, PhD, Indiana University
In line with the general push for accountability in public schooling, the federal government’s Race to the Top competition has promoted the adoption of test-based performance measures as a component of teacher evaluations. Amid much controversy, many states and districts have responded by requiring that some portion of teacher evaluations be based on testing data. The statistical models used to create these performance measures are generally referred to as “value-added models.” The validity of value-added models, however, has been the subject of ongoing controversy among researchers and has been widely contested by teachers’ unions. A key concern in the debate is the extent to which nonrandom sorting of students to teachers may bias measures and lead to a misclassification of teachers as high or low performing. This talk discusses sources of bias and error in the measures and presents findings from a large IES project aimed at studying value-added methodologies. It takes stock of what we currently know and do not know about how well these models work and discusses the implications for policy.
Cassandra Guarino is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Education. She obtained her PhD in the Economics of Education from Stanford University in 1999, after which she worked as an economist at the Rand Corporation and then on the faculty at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on value-added measures of teacher performance, teacher quality, teacher labor markets, school choice, and issues in which health and education are linked. She currently leads an Institute of Education Sciences grant on methodological issues involved in value-added modeling. She has taught courses in economics of education, policy analysis, quantitative research methods, school choice, value-added modeling, and microeconomics.
This talk is part of the STEM Education Research Seminar series. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for faculty working on research related to STEM education to present and discuss their work. All interested welcome.
The STEM Education Research Seminar is organized by Anna Bargagliotti, Ph.D., Mathematics, and Jeff Phillips, Ph.D., Physics. Please contact them directly or via firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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