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[IWS] CRS: VALUE-ADDED MODELING FOR TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS [11 December 2012]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Value-Added Modeling for Teacher Effectiveness

Erin D. Lomax, Specialist in Education Policy

Jeffrey J. Kuenzi, Specialist in Education Policy

December 11, 2012

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41051.pdf

[full-text, 20 pages]

 

Summary

Two of the major goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by

the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110; NCLB), are to improve the quality of K-12

teaching and raise the academic achievement of students who fail to meet grade-level proficiency

standards. In setting these goals, Congress recognized that reaching the second goal depends

greatly on meeting the first; that is, quality teaching is critical to student success. Thus, NCLB

established new standards for teacher qualifications and required that all courses in “core

academic subjects” be taught by a highly qualified teacher by the end of the 2005-2006 school

year.

 

During implementation, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirement came to be seen as

setting minimum qualifications for entry into the profession and was criticized by some for

establishing standards so low that nearly every teacher met the requirement. Meanwhile, policy

makers have grown increasingly interested in the output of teachers’ work; that is, their

performance in the classroom and the effectiveness of their instruction. Attempts to improve

teacher performance led to federal and state efforts to incentivize improved performance through

alternative compensation systems. For example, through P.L. 109-149, Congress authorized the

Federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program, which provides grants to support teacher

performance pay efforts. In addition, there are various programs at all levels (national, state, and

local) aimed at reforming teacher compensation systems. The most recent congressional action in

this area came with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

(ARRA, P.L. 111-5) and, in particular, enactment of the Race to the Top (RTTT) program.

 

In November 2009, the U.S. Department of Education released a final rule of priorities,

requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the RTTT. The final rule established a

definition of an effective teacher as one “whose students achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least

one grade level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice).” That is, to be

considered effective, teachers must raise their students’ learning to a level at or above what is

expected within a typical school year. States, LEAs, and schools must include additional

measures to evaluate teachers; however, these evaluations must be based, “in significant part, [on]

student growth.”

 

This report addresses issues associated with the evaluation of teacher effectiveness based on

student growth in achievement. It focuses specifically on a method of evaluation referred to as

value-added modeling (VAM). Although there are other methods for assessing teacher

effectiveness, in the last decade, VAM has garnered increasing attention in education research and

policy due to its promise as a more objective method of evaluation. The first section of this report

describes what constitutes a VAM approach and how it estimates the so-called “teacher effect.”

The second section identifies the components necessary to conduct VAM in education settings.

Third, the report discusses current applications of VAM at the state and school district levels and

what the research on these applications says about this method of evaluation. The fourth section

of the report explains some of the implications these applications have for large-scale

implementation of VAM. Finally, the report describes some of the federal policy options that

might arise as Congress considers legislative action around these or related issues.

 

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

What is Value-Added Modeling? ..................................................................................................... 3

The “Teacher Effect” ................................................................................................................. 3

Components of Conducting a Value-Added Model ................................................................... 5

Database Requirements ....................................................................................................... 5

Estimating Teacher Effects .................................................................................................. 6

Practical Applications and Research Results of Value-Added Modeling ................................ 11

VAM in the Field ............................................................................................................... 11

Research Findings ............................................................................................................. 13

Implications of Large-Scale Implementation .......................................................................... 14

Data Requirements ............................................................................................................ 14

Capacity ............................................................................................................................. 15

Transparency ..................................................................................................................... 15

Federal Policy Options ............................................................................................................ 16

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 17

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 




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