This article develops a validity argument approach for use on observation protocols currently used to assess teacher quality for high-stakes personnel and professional development decisions. After defining the teaching quality domain, we articulate an interpretive argument for observation protocols. To illustrate the types of evidence that might compose a validity argument, we draw on data from a validity study of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System for secondary classrooms. Based on data from 82 Algebra classrooms, we illustrate how data from observation scores, value-added models, generalizability studies, and measures of teacher knowledge, student achievement, and teacher and student beliefs could be used to build a validity argument for observation protocols. Strengths and limitations of the validity argument approach as well as the issues the approach raises for observation protocol validity research are considered.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.